Palm Gets Be in Its Bonnet -- Palm Inc. is buying Be Inc., the company started by former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee. Apple had eyed Be back in 1996 before acquiring Steve Jobs's NeXT instead. Palm will acquire Be's intellectual property and technology assets, which include the BeOS and BeIA operating systems (the latter built for Internet appliances), for $11 million in Palm stock, and Palm is making employment offers to Be's engineers. For its part, Be will retain its cash and cash equivalents, receivables, and certain contractual rights. In a bit of interesting wording, Be also keeps "rights to assert and bring certain claims and causes of action, including under antitrust laws," which some analysts speculate may presage legal action against the dominant operating system vendor, Microsoft. Palm cited its intent to use Be's technology to expand the Palm OS under its Palm Platform Solutions Group, which will be spun out as a wholly owned subsidiary at the end of 2001. [JLC]
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