Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2003
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888


Microsoft Agrees To Revise Licensing Terms, Eliminate Non-Disclosure Agreements

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Department of Justice today issued a Microsoft Consent Decree Compliance Advisory concerning revisions made to licenses Microsoft is offering for server software under the terms of the Final Judgment entered by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on November 12, 2002.

"In response to comments from the Department and other antitrust enforcement agencies, Microsoft agreed to substantially revise the terms of the licenses that it initially offered on August 6, 2002, as well as to eliminate the non-disclosure agreement covering the terms of those licenses that Microsoft had originally imposed," the advisory states. "The revised licenses will be available for review on Microsoft's website within the next several days."

Furthermore, the Advisory states that, "In particular, the Department will continue to examine the royalties contained in the licenses and will be evaluating this issue in a concentrated way and on a separate track over the next several weeks." As required by the Final Judgment, on August 6, 2002, Microsoft began to offer for use by third parties certain technology used by Microsoft server operating system products to interoperate with Windows operating system products. Since that time, the Department has undertaken a careful and thorough evaluation of the licenses, including consulting with various parties likely to be interested in the licenses, as well as with Microsoft.

It is anticipated that the Department and other antitrust enforcement agencies will continue to consult with third parties concerning the licenses and to provide Microsoft with feedback on the terms of the licenses. The Department also today filed a notice of the advisory with the Court.

As first announced on August 5, 2002, the Department may periodically issue Microsoft Consent Decree Compliance Advisories as part of its monitoring of Microsoft's implementation of the Final Judgment. This is the second such Advisory.