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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 rdeegvainl on 9/4/2007 10:41:29 AM , Rating: 2
No I am not comparing microsoft to a water company.
and the rest of your entire argument rests on that.
I will redirect you to the first statement of my original post. Read it. Make sure you understand that I am in no way talking about Microsoft. If you want to argue with things I've never said, by all means do, do so with someone else.

By Master Kenobi on 9/4/2007 11:04:22 AM , Rating: 2
Your water company would be beaten into the ground by competing water companies. Unless you cut a deal with all of the other water companies, in which case you would be guilty of price fixing and would land yourself in jail.

I fail to see the validity of your water company. It wouldn't last very long unless your marketing department somehow spun a PR campaign making people think it was liquid gold. In which case, gouge at will.

By Master Kenobi on 9/4/2007 11:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and just an FYI, your fictional water company has nothing in common with the article at hand and I will go out on a limb and say it was completely off base to even post such an example. The topic is on a software company, your post deals with a fictional water company that could never exist in a Free Market.

By rdeegvainl on 9/4/2007 11:23:25 AM , Rating: 2
Wow i guess you still failed to see the part where there is little to no supply for these competitors to compete with, and yes that would land someone in jail. Which was my point the hole time, that sometimes the free market shouldn't have free reign over everything and needs to be regulated. It was in regards to you comment that it is a free market and dictation by lawyers and pissed off consumers. But what about when they are right? I am not saying they are in this case, but there still have to be limits.
I will end off on the same note my original reply did,
I do not believe Microsoft products are overpriced.

By Master Kenobi on 9/4/2007 11:26:48 AM , Rating: 2
Opinions about Microsoft not included

Yes, but we are talking about your water company now werent we?

By Munkles on 9/4/2007 11:05:13 AM , Rating: 2
My apologies rdeegvainl, I did not see the last line in your post even though I read it half a dozen times previously.

I do think that Microsoft is fairly pricing what they sell.

I would wager I wasn't the only one who didn't catch that line either.

Free market how ever doesn't necessitate right or wrong. MS however is not a monopoly, and as a general rule any time they attempt to be competitive it gets labeled an anti-competitive business practice so in general I get quite riled up when I see people railing on MS with no justification other than that they either dont know the intended use of a MS application, or dont know how to use it themselves and then just get pissed off at the only thing they can find I.E. that MS is a freaking huge and extremely profitable company.

Again i'm sorry for attacking you after I myself misread your post and its intentions.

By rdeegvainl on 9/4/2007 11:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
I also agree with you.
"Free market how ever doesn't necessitate right or wrong."
I think though it is a great tool to inspire competition and growth, that it can be unfairly abused and needs some regulation.
And thank you for actually rereading my comment, I'm glad I have replay value LOL.

By Munkles on 9/4/2007 11:12:41 AM , Rating: 3
I will admit, I had a nice long rebuttal all typed out and then I previewed to check for typo's and realized what you WERE saying as opposed to what I had understood, and I felt like a total douche.

Nice to know not everyone on the internet is just gunning for a fight, some are just looking for intelligent discourse.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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