CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Tech Industry

Borland and Microsoft settle

Borland's suit alleging that Microsoft had unfairly lured Borland employees to its camp results in a settlement, the terms of which were undisclosed.

Borland International (BORL) and Microsoft (MSFT) today announced that they have settled a lawsuit brought by Borland in May alleging that the software giant was hiring away Borland's key employees in an attempt to put it out of business.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed. The companies said they will make no additional comments on the settlement beyond a terse statement issued this afternoon. Unknown is whether the settlement involves any payment.

"We believe this settlement is in the best interest of both our companies," the two companies said in their statement. "This settlement resolves any legal questions surrounding the lawsuit and allows both companies to move forward."

Borland claimed that, during the past 30 months, Microsoft had hired 34 of the ailing software developer's key employees by offering "large signing bonuses of several millions of dollars and other incentives," according to the suit. "It's like we're in the desert, and Microsoft is stealing our water bottle," said Borland CEO Del Yocam during a press conference in May.

Borland was seeking unspecified financial damages and an immediate end to what it termed Microsoft's "unfair practice of targeting Borland employees in order to hamper the company's ability to compete" in the development tools market.

Yocam maintained that Microsoft had lured personnel away with huge signing bonuses, some in excess of $1 million. "They have the audacity to send limos to Borland's headquarters to take Borland employees out to lunch. I mean, this has got to stop," said Yocam.

Microsoft is not the first company to prey on a weaker competitor in search of development and marketing talent. The suit is only the latest in what has become a common practice among increasingly competitive high-technology companies.

Charges of luring competing employees have been leveled against many other technology companies, including Oracle, Sybase, Computer Associates and others seeking highly skilled software developers, who are in short supply.

In a case similar to the Borland-Microsoft suit, database software maker Informix Software in January pursued, but failed to secure, a temporary restraining order against rival Oracle after 11 Informix software engineers jumped ship to Oracle.