Pitney Bowes Says Justice Department Ending Investigation

Pitney Bowes Inc. said that the U.S. Justice Department was closing an antitrust investigation against the company with no action.

The investigation began in June 1999, when the postage-meter maker was embroiled in a patent dispute with E-Stamp and Stamps.com.

At the time, the Justice Department's Antitrust Division began investigating Pitney Bowes for possible exclusionary tactics. The specific markets named in the investigation were postage meters and online postage services.

Also in June 1999, Pitney Bowes filed suit against Stamps.com and E-Stamp, charging infringement of patents covering key processes for shipping and tracking packages and mail.

Stamps.com in June 2001 sued Pitney Bowes, citing infringement on patents invented by Salim Kara, the founder of E-Stamp, whose assets Stamps.com had acquired earlier that year. The lawsuit alleges that the postage equipment giant infringes on four of Stamps.com's Internet postage patents.

Pitney Bowes has since settled its suit with E-Stamp, but suits related to Stamps.com are still pending.

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