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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: Hrm....
By Screwballl on 9/4/2007 4:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
Try buying a Lenovo (IBM), HP, Compaq or almost any other OEM computer nowadays... they have locked their systems to only work with Vista. I have returned at least 3 from each company (Lenovo, HP, Compaq and Acer) to the store where it was bought because of this. A majority of OEM computers are locked into Vista via some hardware or hidden software lock that cannot be bypassed by the end user. No XP, no Linux, when you try to install them it says "cannot find hard drive" regardless of if it is a PATA or SATA hard drive.

This is why I build my own, use my old 2002 version of XP on a small 20GB partition and everything else is partitioned for Linux (currently FedoraCore7)


RE: Hrm....
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 6:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
How have they "locked their systems to only work with Vista"? How is that physically even possible?

Please tell us about Linux, or something else you actually know something about. You obviously know nothing about Vista.


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