WebMD, Microsoft Terminate Wireless Technology and Software Agreement
WebMD reported Sunday that it has terminated an agreement with Microsoft, under which Microsoft would have provided the technology for WebMD's new wireless handheld computer system for physicians, while WebMD's physician practice management software would have run on the Windows operating system. The deal, which was signed in April, reportedly was contingent upon the companies reaching an agreement about "certain technology requirements and licensing terms." WebMD officials said the termination of the agreement would not impact other aspects of the relationship between the firms, nor would it delay the debut of WebMD's new practice management software or its new handheld system, which will still run on Microsoft's PocketPC device (Dow Jones News Service, 9/16). WebMD also reported this week that travel and shipping problems, telecommunication difficulties and scheduling conflicts following Tuesday's terrorist attacks "may have some impact" on the company's third-quarter earnings, particularly for its physician software product offerings. WebMD said it expected a third-quarter operating loss of four to five cents per share on revenue of $170 million to $175 million. Analysts, who predicted in August that the company would lose four cents a share on revenue of $190.15 million in the third quarter, revised their estimates to a loss of four cents a share on revenue of $173.7 million (Wall Street Journal, 9/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.