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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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By Christopher1 on 9/4/2007 10:09:09 AM , Rating: 0
Excuse me, but Microsoft products are EXTREMELY overpriced, at least software wise.
Their hardware isn't overpriced at all, in my opinion, but their software..... yes, it is overpriced quite a bit, so get used to hearing that.

Their OS's have been overpriced since the Windows 95 era, and they know it. So do their customers, who many of them have turned to pirating it because it has gotten so expensive that they cannot afford it.

Secondly, Windows Vista is not 150$, except for an OEM copy that not many people know about! The Home Basic version is 199, Home Premium 249, and Ultimate is 299$ - with the last two being way too expensive for what you get with them.

By rqle on 9/4/2007 10:30:38 AM , Rating: 2
openoffice, and other word processing are freely available.
We still buy MS office cause it works for us.

Even wordperfect has been around forever.
We still buy MS office, its not like they force us to buy it, its a superior product in my opinion.

Software games are price $50-$60 for 12 hour gameplay. You log years on office and windows.

Windows OS development cost billions.

By masher2 on 9/4/2007 10:36:04 AM , Rating: 5
Your mistake comes in not realizing the OP's definition of overpriced. When you define it as "any price above what I want to pay", you realize that MS products are indeed overpriced.

By Master Kenobi on 9/4/2007 10:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
You get a ~100 copy of Windows with any new PC. Secondly, OEM copies are cheaper. 129 for Home Premium. Thirdly, just because you don't WANT to pay 249 or buy a new PC (Or lack enough education about your choices and get OEM) then you can sit down and be quiet. Just because you don't want to pay for it, doesn't give you the right to A) Pirate it. B) Steal it (See A) or C) dictate that its overpriced.

If it's outside of your price range then so be it, go download a copy of Linux with Wine and have at it. Grab a copy of Star Office or Open Office while your at it. If you gotta have Windows, then pay for it and stop being a thief. I'm sure your budget could handle it if you cut back on eating out so much or curtail spending on the other non-essentials.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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