MILWAUKEE, June 8 /PRNewswire/ — June 30th is the last day for Wisconsin consumers and businesses to claim up to $233,896,000 in benefits from a class action settlement with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) , the lawyers involved in the Court-approved settlement announced today. The settlement includes Wisconsin consumers, businesses, and governmental entities that acquired Microsoft software from December 7, 1993 through April 30, 2003, for use in Wisconsin.
The class-action lawsuit alleged that Microsoft violated Wisconsin’s antitrust and unfair competition laws. Under the settlement, which was approved April 6, Microsoft denies that it did anything wrong and the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or an indication that any law was violated. The Court did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit. Microsoft will distribute up to $223,896,000 in vouchers that eligible class members can redeem regarding their purchases of computers, peripheral computer hardware, and computer software made by any manufacturer. The vouchers are worth $23 each for Microsoft’s “Office” productivity suite software and Microsoft’s “Excel” spreadsheet software; $15 each for Microsoft’s “Windows” and “MS-DOS” operating system software; and $10 each for Microsoft’s “Word” word processing software (including “Home Essentials” and “Works Suite”).
To qualify for vouchers, those included must fill out and submit a claim form available at http://www.microsoftwisuit.com/ or by calling the Court’s Settlement Administrator at 1-800-598-3050. Claims for five or fewer licenses and up to $100, may be submitted with no need to provide any additional documents or proof about software purchases.
“We are pleased that a significant portion of the settlement proceeds will benefit deserving K-12 schools in Wisconsin,” said Rich Wallis, Associate General Counsel for Microsoft. If the total value of vouchers issued to Class members is less than $223,896,000, Microsoft will distribute technology vouchers worth one-half of the remaining amount to qualified public, tribal, and Bureau of Indian Affairs elementary, middle, junior high, and high schools (K-12) in Wisconsin.” Ben Barnow, one of the attorneys for the Class, stated that “this is a superior settlement that benefits the Class both directly with the vouchers and indirectly with the aid to needy schools. We look forward to its benefits being realized by the Wisconsin Class and the needy schools.”
These vouchers can be used up to four years after they are distributed. With certain limitations, the vouchers can be transferred, sold, or given away as a personal gift or charitable donation. If vouchers are unclaimed, 50% of the unclaimed amount goes to the provision for needy schools. But if the vouchers are claimed, but not used, 100% goes to the needy schools.
For larger claims or for software that was not acquired through a volume license program (e.g., “Open,” “Select,” or “Enterprise” licenses), claimants will need to provide additional information about software purchases. Those who acquired software through a volume license program will need to complete a Volume License Claim Form. The claim forms contain detailed instructions about filling them out.
The Court-approved website is http://www.microsoftwisuit.com/ and the toll- free phone number is 1-800-598-3050.
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Source: Circuit Court of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County