Microsoft settles Massachusetts suit

Once again this week Microsoft has settled another class action lawsuit. This time in Massachusetts. Where Microsoft has agreed to pay more than $1.5 billion.

Microsoft Corp. will offer up to $34 million in product vouchers to settle a class action in Massachusetts, the latest resolutions to suits claiming it broke laws on unfair competition and consumer protection.

In a joint release with the plaintiffs' attorneys, the company said late Tuesday that the deal received preliminary approval from Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Judith Fabricant Monday. Microsoft also won preliminary approval Monday for a similar settlement in Arizona worth nearly $105 million. Microsoft has been working to put antitrust claims behind it, having settled such suits in 12 states and the District of Columbia over the past two years, for a total of more than $1.5 billion. The company has reserves set aside to pay for those settlements, the largest of which was a $1.1 billion deal with California plaintiffs in 2003.

As with the Arizona settlement and other such deals it has struck across the United States, Microsoft said it will provide half of the value of any unclaimed vouchers to certain Massachusetts school districts. "The dollar amount may not seem large compared with other states, but Massachusetts' consumer protection law is limited to consumers and does not cover businesses and government," Ann White of Mager White & Goldstein LLP, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, told Reuters. "It is a good result because if the consumers choose not to put in a claim, that leaves more money for the underprivileged students within the commonwealth."

News source: CNN

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