JACKSON, Mississippi (Reuters) - The U.S. state of Mississippi settled an antitrust suit with Microsoft Corp for $100 million on Thursday and said businesses, individuals, schools and local government were eligible for a share of the money.
The settlement, approved by Hinds County Judge Denise Owens, was the largest — and the last — of 21 brought by U.S. states against the software giant.
Microsoft faced a rush of class-action suits on behalf of consumers in individual states after a U.S. federal judge found in 2000 that the world’s largest software company abused its monopoly power by tying its Internet Explorer browser to its Windows operating system.
Mississippi’s case was brought by its attorney general as the state does not have legal provisions for class-action cases.
Under the terms of the Mississippi settlement, $40 million would be paid to the state within 40 days and up to $60 million would be divided between consumers, businesses, public school districts and government entities, according to a statement by Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood.
If all vouchers were not claimed a further $8 million could go to the state, he said.
“The money that will be going into the state coffers will really help in this economically challenged time.” Hood said.
Additional reporting by Bill Rigby; Writing by Matthew Bigg; Editing by Christian Wiessner