|Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, and Drugstore.com Reach Settlement Agreement|
SEATTLE, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), drugstore.com, Richard Dalzell, and Kleiner Perkins announced a settlement agreement in the lawsuit filed by Wal-Mart on January 4, 1999, in Seattle, Washington, and the counter suit brought by Amazon.com, drugstore.com and Dalzell against Wal-Mart on February 22, 1999, in Seattle, Washington. The settlement agreement includes all defendants in the suit and settles all claims and counter claims.
Wal-Mart had originally filed the lawsuit in Chancery Court in Benton County, Arkansas, on October 16, 1998. The Arkansas action was dismissed in early 1999.
Amazon.com and drugstore.com have agreed to reassign some former Wal-Mart Information Systems associates and vendors to tasks different than their assignments at Wal-Mart. The return of any Wal-Mart property still in the possession of any former associates or vendors is required. No damages will be paid by any party.
"While we will not speak to the specifics of the settlement, the terms of the agreement provide us with the assurances of confidentiality we were seeking. We also make this agreement with the good faith knowledge that our computer systems and business processes are protected as all of our companies move forward," said Robert Rhoads, Wal-Mart Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
"Amazon.com and drugstore.com are only interested in hiring the most qualified and talented individuals. This agreement allows us to continue to do so," said Bill Curry, Amazon.com's spokesperson. "Neither company has any interest or desire to obtain proprietary information or trade secrets from another company. We are glad to put this issue behind us so we can keep our focus where it belongs--on our customers."
"The computer systems and business processes at Wal-Mart have been developed in-house by our associates over many years," Rhoads added. "We will continue to protect the proprietary systems and processes that provide Wal-Mart with a competitive advantage. We owe it to our Wal-Mart associates and shareholders to protect their interest, investment and trust as we continue to compete fairly in the global marketplace."
drugstore.com (www.drugstore.com) is an online source for thousands of brand-name health, beauty and wellness products, combined with a wealth of decision-making information and resources to educate and inform consumers to take charge of their personal health and well-being. Based in Redmond, Washington, the company is headed by President and CEO Peter Neupert, a former senior Microsoft executive. drugstore.com is funded by Amazon.com, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Maveron LLC and Liberty Media.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 video, No. 1 music, and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995. Today, the Amazon.com store has expanded to offer more than 4.7 million book, music CD, video, DVD, computer game, and other titles, plus secure credit card payment, personalized recommendations, and streamlined ordering through 1-Click(SM) technology. It also operates Amazon.com Auctions, where sellers can offer items for sale to 8 million Amazon.com customers.
Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crewmembers dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, intense competition, risks associated with system interruption, management of potential growth, high leverage and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances.
More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998.
Note: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Bookstore, and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. which operates over 2,400 stores and over 450 SAM'S Clubs across the nation is also the nation's largest private employer with over 900,000 associates in the United States. Last year, Wal-Mart raised and contributed over $127 million to local non-profit organizations. Wal-Mart also has operations in Canada, Mexico, China, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Puerto Rico and Korea. Wal-Mart stock (WMT) is traded on both the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges.