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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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Yeah good call
By rudy on 9/4/2007 1:07:57 PM , Rating: 1
Every so often someone becomes the target of get rich quick fraud and now it is microsoft, seems to be all the rage to fund your government or organization off of law suits against M$. I wonder how it is the court was able to reason that M$ was over charging for an os yet a couple of lawers are not overcharging when the bill you for over $1000 per hour. Sometimes people just have absolutely no common sense. If you let people get away with this there will be no end to the low lifes trying to make a buck off of sueing large corps.




RE: Yeah good call
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 2:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
Good point, it is ironic that the court found that Microsoft overcharged Iowa customers, but then approved the $500-1000 per hour attorney feeds. I guess the Iowa court figured that the attorney fees were being paid by a "big, rich, greedy corporation," so that was okay with them.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer











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