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Consumers get $180 million in Microsoft settlement, lawyers get $75 million

Microsoft has settled its long-running antitrust case in Iowa. The lawsuit, which was initially filed in 2000, claimed that Microsoft was involved in anticompetitive business practices which in turn resulted in higher prices for consumers.

The lead plaintiffs in the case, Des Moines lawyer Roxanne Conlin and Minneapolis lawyer Richard Hagstrom will receive $75 million in legal fee and expenses as a result of the settlement -- a record for the state of Iowa.

The $75 million in fees represent a bill rate of $575 an hour for each of the 150 lawyers, clerks and paralegals involved in the case. Over a seven year period, 117,000 hours were logged in relation to the case. The individual rate for Conlin and Hagstrom works out to $1,072 dollars per hour. The payout for the two lawyers also includes a 43 percent risk premium which was approved by a Polk County district judge.

While the lawyers will receive $75 million, Iowans will receive $179.95 million -- $330 million was originally requested. Microsoft will dish out $10, $16, $25 and $29 respectively for Word/Works/Home Essential, Windows/DOS, Excel and Office. Individual consumers can claim up to $200 without a proof of purchase, however, any amount exceeding $200 must be backed with supporting documentation.

Iowa consumers will receive their settlements in checks from Microsoft while businesses and government bodies will receive pay vouchers.

Some Iowans aren't happy with the settlements they are receiving in relation to the payout reserved for lawyer fees. "How in the name of all that is sacred can you even imagine that to be equitable?" inquired Parkersburg resident Betty Klingenbord. "I also do not like how this makes Iowa look. Where will these lawsuits end?"

The settlement covers Iowans who purchased Microsoft software between May 18, 1994 and June 30, 2006. Customers who wish to receive their reimbursements from Microsoft must do so before the December 14 deadline.



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RE: WTF?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/4/2007 9:25:38 AM , Rating: 2
Vast majority because you have a worthwhile product. When you cease to have a worthwhile product, you start to lose. In the case of Microsoft they made good products, charged a reasonable price, and continue to do so. Thus they maintain a rediculous 93% marketshare. If they started charging insane prices you would see that number slide and fast.


RE: WTF?
By rdeegvainl on 9/4/2007 9:35:32 AM , Rating: 1
You also missed the part of it saying not about microsoft.


RE: WTF?
By Verran on 9/4/2007 10:40:38 AM , Rating: 2
The topic of this article is Microsoft. Generally, people assume that comments within a specific article will be of the same subject matter as the article.

A corporation that somehow manages to take control of the entire planet's water supply (70%+ of the Earth's surface) in order to price-gouge consumers makes for a neat story, but seems a bit off-track under this article.


RE: WTF?
By rdeegvainl on 9/4/2007 10:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
That is why you shouldn't assume, and should read the first sentence of a post you reply to. (along with the rest)
Though the post was to a comment already made about Free market. That is why I made it a reply and not a first post.


RE: WTF?
By Oregonian2 on 9/4/2007 2:03:25 PM , Rating: 3
It wouldn't be a matter of having 70% of the world's supply. It would be a matter of supplying 70% of the water. Very different thing. In the case of Microsoft, they don't own all the 1's and 0's, there is nothing stopping alternatives to compete should the market show a need for a competitive alternative at a lower price point. It's the reasonable price that keeps others from sprouting and flourishing.


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