Microsoft Settles with Tennessee

   This weekend, Microsoft agreed to pay $64 million to settle a set of antitrust-related class-action lawsuits in Tennessee, ending accusations that the company overcharged consumers in that state for Windows and other products. The deal is predictably similar to the many class-action lawsuit settlements Microsoft has made with consumers in other US states. The software giant will provide vouchers for any users who purchased Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Excel between December 21, 1995, and December 31, 2002. Users can apply the vouchers toward the purchase of any computer software or hardware.
   "We're pleased by the opportunity to help schools all across Tennessee get the computers and software they need," said Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel. "This settlement allows us to focus on the future and building great software and avoids the cost and uncertainty of litigation."
   As with earlier settlements, Microsoft will pay the value of half of any unclaimed vouchers to the state's poorest schools. The Tennessee Commissioner of Education noted that the state will use those funds to purchase software, hardware, and services from Microsoft and other computer companies.

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