News In Brief
Microsoft said it settled out of court an antitrust suit brought by Caldera Inc., a Salt Lake City-based, privately held software company. Neither party would confirm the value of the settlement, but estimates put it at between $150 million and $155 million. Caldera alleged Microsoft had used anticompetitive tactics to torpedo its DR-DOS software. The operating system is similar to MS-DOS, which Microsoft used as a platform for its Windows software. The case was expected to go to trial Feb. 1.
Pegasus Communications Corp, a provider of direct broadcast satellite TV, said it would pay about $1 billion for Golden Sky Holdings Inc., one of the biggest distributors of the digital television service DirecTV. The combined operations will reach about 7.2 million rural households, making Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based Pegasus the nation's third-largest provider of direct broadcast satellite service. Golden Sky is based in Kansas City, Mo.
Riding to the rescue of a struggling young company, British Telecom said it would acquire Ireland's money- losing Esat Telecom Group for $2.4 billion in an all-stock deal. The latter had been seeking a "white knight" to fend off a $1.9 billion hostile takeover by Norway's state-owned telecommunications giant, Telenor. Esat is the No. 2 fixed-line and mobile phone company in the Irish Republic.
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