(A post by FFH Mark, from our previous Q&A forum)
What changed between 1994 and 2005?
Trying to get a handle on the legal particulars that determined Adobe's ability to acquire FreeHand in 1994 vs 2005 (1994 being unsuccessful due to a "licensing agreement between Altsys and Aldus). Maybe it was only due to a license dispute between 2 companies (with Adobe stepping in as mediator) and not anti-trust related? But then why would the FTC have gotten involved? See more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macromedia_FreeHand
FreeHand is very similar in scope, intended market, and functionality to Adobe Illustrator. It was created by Altsys and licensed to Aldus, which released versions 1 to 4. When Aldus merged with Adobe Systems, because of the overlapping of market with Illustrator, Adobe returned FreeHand to Altsys soon after the merger (after some legal wrangling, and intervention by the Federal Trade Commission). Altsys was later bought by Macromedia, which released FreeHand 5.0, 5.5 (Mac only), 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11/MX. In 2005 Adobe acquired Macromedia, thus returning the FreeHand product to Adobe. -------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altsys
Altsys' best known product that was basically rebranded Virtuoso, that was licensed to Aldus Corporation under FreeHand name, was a vector drawing program that competed with Adobe Illustrator. It was published for many years, originally only on the Macintosh, then also for Microsoft Windows. When Aldus was acquired by Adobe, the licensing agreement that Altsys had with Aldus precluded FreeHand from being part of the deal, so the publishing rights reverted back to Altsys.
http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/su ... 293159_ITM
San Francisco -- Adobe Systems Inc. has stepped into the fight between Aldus Corp. and Altsys Corp. over FreeHand, but the graphics giant apparently has had no luck effecting a solution. FreeHand developer Altsys in April filed a lawsuit against Aldus arguing that Aldus' proposed merger with Adobe violates a licensing contract between Seattle-based Aldus and Altsys, based in Richardson, Texas (see MacWEEK, April 18, Page 1). Despite earlier assertions that it would not become involved in the dispute, Mountain View, Calif.-based Adobe is now Altsys' primary contact for negotiations, said Altsys CEO Jim Von Ehr. Von Ehr and Adobe Chief Financial Officer Bruce Nakao confirmed that the companies had discussed the possibility of Altsys buying back the rights to FreeHand. Negotiations broke down last week, however, according to Von Ehr.