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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 vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy. She also serves as executive editor of the group's media Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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