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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 Master Kenobi (blog) 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 (blog) 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 (blog) 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?

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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