Andy Webster has been ordered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to pay Hearts £150,000 for breaking his contract to join Wigan in August 2006.
Fifa had initially ordered defender Webster to pay £625,000, and Hearts had been seeking £4.6million.
However Webster will split payment of the smaller sum with Wigan, and the result could be perceived as a victory for player power.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decided Webster should pay up the remainder of his contract with Hearts, which had less than a year to run, as compensation for his departure from Tynecastle.
Webster, 25, who is currently on loan at Rangers, could now complete a permanent switch to Ibrox.
In a statement, CAS said: "The CAS has determined that an amount of £150,000 has to be paid by Webster to Hearts as compensation for unilateral breach of contract."
Wigan, Webster and Hearts each appealed against Fifa's judgement in the case, with Hearts adamant they should receive more compensation because of the cost of replacing the Scotland defender.
The CAS hearing took place in October last year, in Lausanne.