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Microsoft Settles With Trade Group

By Jonathan Krim
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 25, 2004; Page E01

The head of a technology industry trade group that for years encouraged aggressive legal action against Microsoft Corp. for antitrust violations personally received nearly $10 million as part of a settlement with the software giant this month.

Under the agreement, the Computer & Communications Industry Association received $19.75 million from Microsoft. In exchange, the group ended support for an ongoing antitrust case in the European Union and pending investigations in Europe and Asia.

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Edward J. Black, the group's chief executive -- known in Washington and the technology world for his scathing, decade-long portrayal of Microsoft as a rapacious monopolist -- got roughly half of what his organization received in the deal.

Microsoft also joined CCIA, whose members include Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., Verizon Corp. and Fujitsu.

The financial terms of the settlement were reported in yesterday's editions of the Financial Times and were confirmed by a source familiar with the details of the agreement, who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.

Under the deal approved by CCIA's board of directors, Black, 59, received $9.75 million. He also got a new, three-year contract to run the group at an annual salary of $500,000, more than tripling his previous salary, the source said.

In an interview yesterday, Black would not confirm any of the financial terms, which he negotiated and took to the board for approval. He defended the overall agreement as important for CCIA, which has struggled as Microsoft settled separately with some of the group's members.

"We have made a tactical withdrawal from four areas of extremely expensive litigation," Black said. The settlement "provides greater strength than [CCIA] ever had."

He also has vowed not to compromise in other policy areas the group works on, such as copyright, in which other members and Microsoft might disagree.

Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said only that allocation of the settlement money was CCIA's decision, although the source said it was likely that the company knew of the details.

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