Microsoft Settles Antitrust Suit for $100M

Microsoft has settled an antitrust case with Mississippi worth as much as US$100 million, the state said on Thursday.

Mississippi, which filed the suit in 2004, is the 21st state to reach a settlement with Microsoft.

As part of the deal, Microsoft has agreed to pay $40 million to the state. The company also will offer $60 million worth of hardware and software vouchers to consumers, businesses, government entities and schools. If all the vouchers aren't claimed, Microsoft will pay $8 million to the state.

Anyone in Mississippi who bought Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows ME between Jan. 1, 1996, and Thursday is eligible for a $12 voucher that can be used for any software or hardware product. People who bought Windows 2000, Windows XP, Word, Office, Excel, Windows NT Workstation and other software products can get a $5 voucher.

An administrator will try to notify buyers and distribute vouchers. Individual people can get the voucher by sending in a sworn statement that they bought the product. High-volume users like businesses and government agencies will be able to verify purchases with licensing agreements.

The suit was one of many antitrust suits filed by states or as class actions against Microsoft following the federal court finding that the company had abused its monopoly status.

One of the biggest settlements may be the one made with the state of California in 2003 that was worth an estimated $1.1 billion.

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