Novell has taken up the cudgels against SCO Group chief executive officer Darl McBride who claims SCO has a non-compete agreement that will be violated if Novell completes a planned acquisition of SuSE Linux.
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"Mr. McBride's characterisation of the agreements between Novell and SCO is inaccurate," Novell said. "There is no non-compete provision in those contracts, and the pending acquisition of SuSE Linux does not violate any agreement between Novell and SCO."
McBride said the planned $210m SuSE Linux acquisition would infringe an agreement Novell signed with The Santa Cruz Operation when Novell sold the rights to its Unix System V software in 1995. SCO bought The Santa Cruz Operation's Unix business in 2000, acquiring with the technology the non-compete agreement, McBride said.
Novell has received no formal communication from SCO about the non-compete agreement, and intends to respond if SCO pursues legal action.
McBride said SCO will not pursue action against Novell until it completes the SuSE deal, which Novell expects to do by the end of January.
Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service