Microsoft to Settle Iowa Anti-Trust Suit for up to $180 Million

Microsoft said on Wednesday it agreed to pay up to $180 million to settle a class-action lawsuit, claiming the company has used its monopoly to overcharge citizens in the state of Iowa.

Judge Scott Rosenberg, who presided over the case in Polk County, Iowa, granted preliminary approval to the terms of the settlement. Microsoft had announced in February that it reached a settlement in the case, but did not disclose details at that time.

The court scheduled an Aug. 31 hearing on final approval of the settlement.

Individuals and businesses that purchased Microsoft operating systems and applications between May 18, 1994 and June 30, 2006 will be eligible to file claims.

Microsoft said the settlement dismisses all antitrust and damage claims which had been raised in the case and which could have amounted to $1 billion or more.

The Iowa case and another case in Mississippi are the remaining class-action lawsuits against Microsoft pending in state courts. Microsoft has settled or had dismissed most of the other similar lawsuits in state courts. Two suits failed to win class certification.