Microsoft has announced that a settlement has been reached to resolve class action lawsuits alleging that Microsoft violated Florida’s antitrust and unfair competition laws.
The settlement was filed yesterday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court after Federal lawyers argued Microsoft used the dominance of its Windows operating system to eliminate competition and inflate prices. Judge Henry H. Hamage has given preliminary approval to the settlement.
Microsoft said it would offer $202 million in the form of vouchers to all consumers and businesses that purchased licenses for Microsoft’s Windows operating system, Office, word processing or spreadsheet software between November 16, 1995, and December 31, 2002 for use in Florida.
The vouchers can be used to buy any manufacturer’s desktop, laptop or tablet computers running any operating system, or any software used with those computer products.
Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will provide one-half of any unclaimed settlement proceeds to Florida’s most needy public schools in the form of vouchers.
The court has set a hearing date of November 24, 2003 for final approval of the settlement.