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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: Pricing
By Master Kenobi on 9/4/2007 10:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
No. In most cases XP is removed from shelves. Microsoft doesnt push old products, it simply phases them out in favor of the new. Most places you will NOT find a copy of XP on the shelves, its all Vista.

RE: Pricing
By acer905 on 9/4/2007 11:13:19 AM , Rating: 2
Really now. And most places would include??? Best buy? circuit city? Office Depot? WAL MART? TARGET? cause you can still get brand spankin new copies of XP both home and Pro at all of them. All with SP2. Same thing as being able to still buy new copies of 98 Second Edition when XP came out.

RE: Pricing
By Munkles on 9/4/2007 11:20:15 AM , Rating: 2
Not quite,

BBY doesn't have copies of XP anymore, but I cant speak for the others. Besides which, if MS is the publisher of their own software they, in the end have complete say in which of their products are produced and thus if they wish to only produce Vista, it is their right to do so regardless on anyones personal feelings on the mater.

RE: Pricing
By Master Kenobi on 9/4/2007 11:20:48 AM , Rating: 2
Old stock. Those retailers are just clearing whatever they had on hand. Given that its still sitting there after all these months I have to assume few if any are buying.

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