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NINTENDO WINS FEDERAL ANTITRUST SUIT

 NINTENDO WINS FEDERAL ANTITRUST SUIT
 SAN FRANCISCO, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was issued


today by Nintendo:
 A federal court jury today returned a verdict in favor of Nintendo in the Nintendo of America (NOA) v. Atari Corp. antitrust case.
 Following an 11-week trial, the nine-menber jury unanimously found that Nintendo's video game licensing program had not caused Atari any damages.
 The trial, which began Feb. 10, 1992, was the result of a 1989 suit brought by Atari Corp. claiming that it was injured because of Nintendo's alleged violation of the antitrust laws. The suit alleged that NOA licensing agreements with game publishers constituted unreasonable restraints of trade. Atari Corp. sought $160 million in damages.
 The jury unanimously found Nintendo did not have any intent to monopolize the U.S. home video game market. While the jury found Nintendo did have market power, such power is perfectly legal if Nintendo's success results from its superior products and performance.
 The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the question of whether Nintendo's licensing agreement was an unreasonable restraint of trade, or whether this program was the means by which Nintendo acquired monopoly power.
 Judge Fern M. Smith of the U.S. District Court of Northern California, who presided, granted a mistrial on these two counts. Judge Smith said she still was considering Nintendo's request to dismiss these counts.
 Howard Lincoln, Nintendo of America Inc.'s senior vice president, said even through a jury was not able to reach a unanimous verdict on all counts, it did unanimously conclude on each count that Nintendo did not harm Atari Corp.
 "As indicated by the enormous success of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the consumer, the retailer, game developers and publishers have already given overwhelming approval to Nintendo's marketing practices," Lincoln added.
 "Our competitors have been quick to charge unfair business practices when in fact Nintendo has simply listened to consumers, treated retailers and developers fairly, adhered to high quality standards in the production of video games, and developed and implemented smart marketing plans," Lincoln said.
 Nintendo's lead counsel, John Kirby, of New York Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferndon, said he was pleased but not surprised by the jury's verdict.
 "We were confident that, in a fair trial, a jury would find that Nintendo's licensing program, which contributed to its success, had not illegally harmed anyone. This verdict should serve to discourage frivolous lawsuits against Nintendo," said Kirby.
 Bob Lloyd, CEO of Novato, Calif.-based Software Toolworks Ltd., a Nintendo game publisher, also indicated his pleasure with the jury's verdict.
 Lloyd said that Nintendo's third-party licensing program greatly contributed to his company's financial success and to the growth of the home video game business in this country. Nintendo has more than 60 independent third-party companies who develop and market video games for play on Nintendo systems.
 "Nintendo's efforts to help assist our company in developing high quality video games for the NES system were a major part of our success. Without Nintendo we would never have been able to introduce our Miracle Piano Teaching System to the marketplace," Lloyd said.
 Nintendo of America Inc. sells personal, home and arcade video games in the United States. The Redmond, Wash.-based company is headquarters to the company's marketing operations in North America, and is a subsidiary of the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of video games, Nintendo Co. Ltd. of Kyoto, Japan.
 -0- 5/1/92
 /CONTACT: Perrin Kaplan of Nintendo of America, 415-781-2430; or Jeff Raleigh of Hill and Knowlton Inc., 415-781-2430 or 510-376-0409 (home), for Nintendo/
 (ATC STW) CO: Nintendo of America; Atari Corp.; Software Toolworks ST: California IN: ENT SU:


DG-RM -- SF006 -- 5713 05/01/92 19:03 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:May 1, 1992
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