AT&T, Comcast Settle @Home


On the eve of trial, AT&T has agreed to settle several claims tied to its control of failed high-speed online service, Excite@Home.

The telephone company says the the settlement is a $340 million payment to Excite@Home bondholders, what little is left of the company itself, plus a company pursuing a patent infringement claim.

Comcast says it will cover half of that settlement, because it bought AT&T’s cable division two years ago.

However, the settlement does not resolve all the claims directly against Comcast or against Excite@Home’s other major shareholder, Cox Communications.

Excite@Home was formed to create a national data backbone and other services for most of the major cable operators in the late 1990s as the industry was just beginning to offer high-speed Internet services.

Like many other dotcoms of the era, Excite@Home got swamped in losses, and simply shut down. Comcast and Cox, however, managed to sell out AT&T at a huge price $3 billion before the fall.