Business Briefs

AOL, AAPT get their act together

The long-awaited deal between AAPT and AOL Time Warner has finally come to fruition, with the two organisations announcing a 50:50 joint venture to operate AOL Australia. Under the deal, the joint venture will launch a new Internet portal to deliver wireless content services and through exclusive rights will offer AOL and CompuServe services on both PC and mobile wireless platforms throughout Australia. It is expected that AAPT's sales, marketing and distribution channels and network infrastructure will expand AOL's reach across Australia as well as contribute significant cost savings to AOL Australia. The new organisation has, however, already seen its first casualty: AOL Australia's managing director, Carol Veriga, has stepped down and will be replaced by Brett Wayn while the joint venture finds a CEO. According to officials, Veriga will remain with AOL Australia in the short term as a consultant while Wayn, currently director of AOL Australia content and programming, will move to the position of general manager to oversee the day-to-day operations of the joint, responds to IBM patent suitInformix has responded to a patent infringement lawsuit from IBM with a countersuit of its own. Informix has filed a lawsuit with the US District Court charging Big Blue with infringement of four Informix patents. The company also used the statement to directly respond to the original lawsuit filed by IBM last month. "Informix's response denies infringement of the IBM patents, asserts that the IBM patents are invalid and unenforceable, and claims that IBM has infringed four Informix patents," Informix said. The lawsuit, which charges that IBM's DB2 database products infringe on several Informix patents, seeks "substantial damages", and calls for an injunction against the manufacture and sale of the IBM software in question, Informix said. IBM originally filed a US District Court action against Informix in February alleging patent infringement relating to six patents dealing with database software, as well as software for distributed processing and data compression technology. Both IBM and Informix officials were unavailable to comment by presstime.www.informix.comDoJ closes investigation into CA, SterlingThe US Department of Justice (DoJ) has concluded its investigation into Computer Associates International's proposed purchase of Sterling Software, meaning that the acquisition can now go ahead. CA first announced its plan to buy Sterling in a stock-for-stock transaction then valued at $US4 billion in February, but was forced to extend its offer period twice for its proposed acquisition due to the DoJ investigation - once to March 27 and then again to March 31. The software giant intends to combine the two companies' technologies, notably CA's own Jasmine object-oriented database and Sterling's COOL tools,

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More about AAPTAOLCA TechnologiesCompuserveDepartment of JusticeDOJIBM AustraliaInformixSterling SoftwareTime WarnerUS Department of Justice

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