Microsoft, Massachusetts Settle Class-Action Suit

Massachusetts consumers will receive as much as $34 million worth of computer products from Microsoft.

Massachusetts settled a class-action lawsuit with Microsoft Corp. Tuesday, making vouchers available to its residents for the purchase of desktop, laptop or tablet computers, software and peripheral devices. The vouchers will be issued to members of the class action who claim them, and will come to a maximum value of $34 million.

Vouchers will be available to residents who indirectly bought Microsoft operating system, productivity suite, spreadsheet or word processing software between Jan. 3, 1996, and Dec. 31, 2002.

Vouchers will also be available to public school districts where at least half of the students qualify for reduced-fee or free meals under the National School Lunch Program.

To date, the Redmond, Wash., software company has settled consumer class-action lawsuits in 12 states and the District of Columbia. The Massachusetts lawsuit charged Microsoft with violating the commonwealths consumer protection and unfair competition laws.

Massachusetts continues to battle Microsoft at the federal level, awaiting a decision in its appeal of the companys antitrust settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. A decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is expected soon.


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