Microsoft has reached a preliminary settlement in a class-action lawsuit in Arizona, which alleged that the company abused its Windows monopoly to overcharge customers in the state for its software.
The deal provides Arizona software buyers with up to $104.6 million in vouchers that can be used to buy computer hardware and software, Microsoft of Redmond, Washington, says in a statement.
Arizona consumers who indirectly purchased certain Microsoft operating system, productivity suite, spreadsheet, or word processing software between January 12, 1996 and December 31, 2002 are eligible for vouchers.
Half of any unclaimed settlement money will go to needy public schools in Arizona in the form of vouchers, Microsoft says.
In the Arizona settlement, as in the others, Microsoft denies any wrongdoing.
The private cases followed a federal court finding that Microsoft had abused its monopoly status in the desktop operating systems market to the detriment of consumers. A settlement in the federal case was approved late 2002.