Microsoft settles class action lawsuits

Microsoft has reached a $1.1 billion settlement with two groups of consumers as the result of a series of class action lawsuits alleging that Microsoft violated California’s antitrust and unfair competition laws.

The San Francisco law firm of Townsend and Townsend and Crew, lead counsel for two certified classes of California consumers, and Microsoft have reached a $1.1 billion settlement as the result of a series of class action lawsuits that alleged that Microsoft violated California’s antitrust and unfair competition laws.

Trial was scheduled to commence in San Francisco before California Superior Court Judge Paul H. Alvarado on February 24, 2003.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval before becoming final, benefits consumers and businesses who purchased Microsoft operating system, productivity suite, spreadsheet or word processing software between February 18, 1995, and December 15 2001, for use in the state of California.

The settlement proceeds will be distributed to class members in the form of vouchers that may be used to buy any manufacturer’s desktop, laptop and tablet computers, any software used with those computer products and specified peripheral devices for use with computers.

Two-thirds of any unclaimed settlement proceeds will be donated to California’s most needy public schools in the form of Microsoft educational and productivity software as well as vouchers for the purchase of computer equipment, professional development services and non-Microsoft software.

Details of the settlement are outlined in a term sheet that has been signed by the parties. A final settlement agreement will be filed in the San Francisco Superior Court later this month.

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