BOSTON and REDMOND, Wash., June 29, 2004 — The law firms of Mirick, OConnell, DeMallie & Lougee LLP, Gilman and Pastor LLP, and Mager White & Goldstein LLP, and William A. Stibel, counsel for a proposed class of Massachusetts consumers, and Microsoft Corp. jointly announced today that a settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit alleging that Microsoft Corp. violated Massachusetts consumer protection and unfair competition laws.
The settlement, which received preliminary approval on June 28 from Judge Judith Fabricant of the Massachusetts Superior Court, Massachusetts will make vouchers available to class members that may be used to buy any manufacturer's desktop, laptop and tablet computers; any software available for sale to the general public and used with those computer products; and specified peripheral devices for use with computers. The total amount of vouchers issued will depend on the number of class members who claims vouchers, and the maximum value of the vouchers that may be issued to class members will be $34 million.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Microsoft will provide one-half of the difference between $34 million and the value of vouchers issued to class members to Massachusettss public school districts in the form of vouchers that may be used by the school districts to purchase a broad range of hardware products, Microsoft and non-Microsoft software, and professional development services. The vouchers will be made available to public school districts in which 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for reduced-fee or free meals under the National School Lunch Program. Plaintiffs lead counsel, Ann White, David Pastor, and William Rogers, Jr., are pleased with both the excellent result for Massachusetts consumers and the significant impact the settlement will have on underprivileged schoolchildren throughout the Commonwealth.
"Were pleased by the opportunity to help schools all across Massachusetts get the computers and software they need," said Brad Smith, general counsel for Microsoft. "This settlement allows us to focus on the future and building great software, and avoids the cost and uncertainty of litigation." Details of the settlement are set forth in a settlement agreement filed in the Middlesex County Superior Court, Massachusetts. Under the settlement, consumers who, between January 3, 1996 and December 31, 2002, resided in Massachusetts and indirectly purchased certain Microsoft operating system, productivity suite, spreadsheet or word processing software for use in Massachusetts and not for resale will be eligible to apply for the vouchers.
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