REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 30, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. and lawyers representing a class of direct purchasers of certain Windows® software today announced they have reached a settlement agreement resolving that antitrust litigation. Settlement of this case, which is pending in the U.S. District Court in Maryland, must be approved by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz before it can become effective.
The case involved a class consisting of persons and businesses who, in a period ending on April 30, 2003, purchased Windows either directly from a Microsoft® Web site ( http://shop.microsoft.com/) or directly from Microsoft through certain direct marketing campaigns. By the terms of the settlement, the claims of the class will be dismissed, and Microsoft will pay each purchaser a portion of the price paid for the software. The parties estimate that the total to be paid by Microsoft to the class will be $10.5 million.
Michael Hausfeld, of the firm Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, one of the class's lead lawyers, said, "This settlement is a significant result for those direct purchasers certified by the court as a class. The rights and claims of other purchasers are preserved by this agreement for determination by the appellate courts." The other lead lawyer for the class, Stan Chesley of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley, said, "We are very pleased that this portion of the case is resolved with full damages being recovered."
Tom Burt, Microsoft's deputy general counsel for litigation, expressed the company's continuing desire to concentrate on the future rather than litigate about the past. "Microsoft is pleased to have reached a mutually satisfactory settlement with these plaintiffs, and believes that resolution of this case is another step in our effort to resolve these issues so we can focus on the future."
Plaintiffs originally sought certification of a broader class of direct purchasers of Microsoft software and millions of indirect purchasers (those who acquired Microsoft software by purchases of computers or from companies other than Microsoft). Previous court rulings narrowed the class to those who purchased directly from the Web site or through direct marketing initiatives.
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