informa
/
1 MIN READ
News

Microsoft To Pay $180 Million To Settle Iowa Class Action

Iowans who purchased an operating system will be reimbursed $16 while application buyers will receive up to $29 for each product purchased.
Microsoft disclosed Wednesday that it has agreed to a preliminary settlement under which it will pay consumers in Iowa $179.9 million to settle a class action suit that charged the software maker with monopolistic pricing practices.

Under the terms of the agreement, consumers and businesses that purchased Microsoft operating systems or applications between May 18, 1994 and June 30, 2006 can file claims against Microsoft. Government entities that bought Microsoft products from June 2002 through June 2006 can also file a claim.

Operating systems covered by the settlement include MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT Workstation, and Windows 2000 Professional. The applications include Microsoft Word, Excel and Office.

Iowans who purchased an operating system will be reimbursed $16 while application buyers will receive up to $29 for each product purchased. Individuals will receive cash while volume purchasers will receive vouchers that can be used to buy products from Microsoft or its competitors.

Microsoft said it would donate half of any unclaimed proceeds from the settlement to disadvantaged schools for the purchase of software and hardware.

The case was originally filed in 2000 by Des Moines businessman Joe Comes and proved to be an ongoing source of embarrassment for Microsoft.

Among other things, e-mails entered into evidence during trial revealed that Microsoft officials were awed by Apple Computer's desktop search technology and that former Microsoft executive Jim Allchin once said he would buy a Mac "if I was not working at Microsoft."

A hearing is scheduled for August 31 in Polk County District Court for final approval of the settlement.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing