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Microsoft Settles State Antitrust Suit for $100M

On Thursday, Mississippi announced it is the latest state to settle its multimillion-dollar antitrust suit against Microsoft.

According to information from the Mississippi attorney general's office, the settlement is worth "up to $100 million."

The state will get $40 million of that in cash. Schools, businesses and consumers will get vouchers valued at "$12 or $5...depending on which products were purchased...The vouchers can be used towards the purchase of any software or hardware," according to the announcement of the settlement.

The vouchers can be applied for by those who purchased the following software (or computers that contained this software) since Jan. 1, 1996: Windows 1.x through 3.x, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Word, Excel, Windows NT Workstation and Windows XP. Those who bought in bulk will be able to use their software licensing agreements as proof for the vouchers.

If all of the vouchers are not redeemed, the state will receive an additional cash settlement of up to $8 million.

Attorney General Jim Hood, who filed the original suit on behalf of the state in 2004, commented in a prepared statement that the money from the settlement "will really help [Mississippi] in this economically challenged time."

"Microsoft is pleased to reach this resolution with the State of Mississippi and with our customers in Mississippi," said Steve Aeschbacher, Microsoft Associate General Counsel, in a provided statement.  

A claims administrator will be appointed to help verify claims and distribute the vouchers, the state said. Further information on how to obtain them has yet to be released.

A video of the press conference announcing the settlement can be found here.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the executive editor of the 1105 Redmond Media Group's Web sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com, RedDevNews.com and VisualStudioMagazine.com, among others.

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Oct 15, 2009 Harry Smith Greenwood, Ms.

Why was'nt this information made available to the public sooner? Certainly people have paid more than the voucher's value for software and computer's. Why is the state getting 40 million?

Tue, Jun 16, 2009 You Betcha NAU

These ridiculous settlements are the perfect example of opportunistic state attorneys going after the deep pockets. Nobody seriously thinks of Microsoft as a monopoly in the AT&T or Standard Oil tradition. The federal stimulus package alone would on average provide 140 times the amount of money talked about here, which is supposed to "really help" the state.

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