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AZ Goverment Agencies Settle Microsoft Lawsuit for $4.4 mil

Last week, one more Microsoft class action lawsuit settled, this time with all state and local governmental agencies in Arizona. Judge J. Frederick Motz, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, signed the $4 million plus judgment on December 11th. The state's agencies, represented by named plaintiff Daisy Mountain Fire District, alleged Microsoft's conduct broke Arizona state antitrust law and caused monetary damage to the governmental entities that purchased the company's products.

This suit is not to be confused with the 2004 case by Arizona consumers who accused Microsoft of abusing its Windows monopoly and over-charging individual consumers. That case also settled, providing Arizona software users with up to $104.6 million in vouchers that could be used to buy computer hardware and software. The 2004 case had similar results to other suits in California, Tennessee, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas.

The Arizona government caught up with its citizens in 2008, and filed its anti-trust suit alleging that Microsoft caused the state and local government agencies to overpay for products like Office software and the MS/DOS operating system. The exact settlement amount of $4,415,258, will be divided between agencies that bought Microsoft operating systems and applications between May 1994, and December 2008, and will be based on how many employees each had in 2007. Microsoft will also be responsible for attorneys' fees of $836,386.

Microsoft appears satisfied with the outcome. "We are pleased that the court granted final approval of this settlement," Microsoft spokesman Kevin Kutz told seattlepi.com.

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