Microsoft announced yesterday that it has settled yet another antitrust-related class-action lawsuit, this time with consumers in the state of New Mexico. The settlement, which is worth as much as $31.5 million, received preliminary approval July 29 from the First Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico. As with most other Microsoft class-action settlements, New Mexico class members will receive computer hardware and software vouchers.
"We're pleased by the opportunity to help schools all across New Mexico get the computers and software they need," Microsoft Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary Brad Smith said. "This settlement allows us to focus on the future and building great software and avoids the cost and uncertainty of litigation."
Under terms of the settlement, Microsoft will provide to New Mexico's poorest public schools a sum that's one-half of the difference between $31.5 million and the final value of the vouchers that are issued to class members. The money will be delivered in the form of vouchers, which the schools can use to purchase computer hardware, software, and services. Consumers and businesses in New Mexico who purchased Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Excel, or Microsoft Office Word between December 8, 1995, and December 31, 2002, are eligible to participate in the class-action settlement.
To date, Microsoft has settled class-action lawsuits in the District of Columbia and more than a dozen states. The total value of the settlements so far exceeds $1.5 billion. Microsoft still has pending cases in Iowa, Nebraska, New York, and Wisconsin.