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State settles with Microsoft

JACKSON — Mississippi has reached a multi-million dollar anti-trust settlement with software giant Microsoft, Attorney General Jim Hood announced June 11.

The settlement order, worth up to $100 million, between the State of Mississippi and Microsoft was approved by Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Denise Owens and settles claims stemming from a suit filed by Hood in 2004.

According to Hood, Microsoft has settled suits in 21 states, and Mississippi’s is the largest cash payment made to a state government.

The amount to be paid by Microsoft will be broken down as follows:

• $40 million will be paid to the State of Mississippi within 40 days

• up to $60 million in hardware/software vouchers will be provided to consumers, businesses, all county/local/municipal government entities, public schools and public school districts

• up to $8 million will be paid to the State of Mississippi if all vouchers are not claimed

All Mississippi residents, businesses, county/local governments or schools that purchased Microsoft products or computers containing Microsoft products between Jan. 1, 1996 and June 11, 2009, will be eligible to receive a voucher of $12 or $5 (depending on which products were purchased). The vouchers can be used towards the purchase of any software or hardware product.

Software qualifying for $12 vouchers includes: Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME. The software qualifying for $5 vouchers includes: Application Products (i.e. Office, Word, Excel), MS-DOS, Windows 1.xx-3.xx Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

“I hope all Mississippi residents, businesses, schools county and local governments will obtain a voucher for each computer or Microsoft software they purchased and use the voucher(s) as a discount on the purchase of any type of software or hardware,” said Hood. “Additionally, the money that will be going into the state coffers will really help in this economically challenged time.”

“Microsoft is pleased to reach this resolution with the State of Mississippi and with our customers in Mississippi,” said Steve Aeschbacher, Microsoft associate general counsel. “We look forward to working with the state on issues of mutual concern going forward.

About Stephen McDill

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