Microsoft Settles Six Class Action Suits

Microsoft has settled antitrust class action lawsuits with five states and the District of Columbia, the company announced Tuesday.

The six new settlements, with a total value of about $200 million, brings the total number of states that have settled to 10. Class action lawsuits against Microsoft for antitrust-related practices continue in five states.

The total cost to Microsoft of all 10 class-action lawsuits it has settled is about $1.55 billion, including a $1.1 billion settlement of a California lawsuit in January.

Court Approved

Two of the six settlements discussed Tuesday, with Kansas and the District of Columbia, have been granted preliminary approval by the overseeing courts, said Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel. The settlements, in the form of hardware or software vouchers to past purchasers of Microsoft software, will be $32 million for Kansas and $6.2 million for the District of Columbia.

Settlements in four other states--North Carolina, Tennessee, North Dakota, and South Dakota--have not been approved by courts, and Microsoft did not release the details of those settlements Tuesday.

The six new settlements are similar to settlements Microsoft has announced with Montana, California, Florida, and West Virginia. Half of the value of any unclaimed vouchers will go to needy schools in the settling states. The schools can purchase hardware, software, or technical training with the money, and neither the consumers nor the schools are required to purchase Microsoft products with the vouchers.

Class-action lawsuits remain in Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.

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