NASHVILLE, Tenn., and REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 21, 2003 — The law firms of Branstetter, Kilgore, Stranch & Jennings; Barrett, Johnston & Parsley; Kirby, McInerny & Squire; Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein; and Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, counsel for a proposed class of Tennessee consumers, and Microsoft Corp. today jointly announced that a settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit alleging that Microsoft violated Tennessees antitrust and unfair competition laws.
The settlement, which received preliminary approval today from the Circuit Court for the 20th Judicial District in Davidson County, at Nashville, will make vouchers available to class members that may be used to buy any manufacturers desktop, laptop and tablet computers, any software available for sale to the general public and used with those computer products, and specified peripheral devices for use with computers. The total amount of vouchers issued will depend on the number of class members who claim vouchers, and the maximum value of the vouchers that may be issued to class members will total $64 million.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Microsoft will provide one-half of the difference between $64 million and the value of vouchers issued to class members to Tennessees Commissioner of Education in the form of vouchers that may be used to purchase a broad range of hardware products, Microsoft and non-Microsoft software, and professional development services that will benefit Tennessee schools. /P>
“Were very pleased with the settlement, especially in light of the benefits to the school children of Tennessee,” said George E. Barrett, attorney for the plaintiffs.
“Technology is critical to both student achievement and teacher quality,” said Lana C. Seivers, Tennessee Commissioner of Education. “We are eager to implement the programs that will be made possible through this agreement.”
“Were pleased by the opportunity to help schools all across Tennessee get the computers and software they need,” said Brad Smith, general counsel for Microsoft. “This settlement allows us to focus on the future and building great software, and avoids the cost and uncertainty of litigation.”
Details of the settlement are set forth in a settlement agreement filed in the Circuit Court for the 20th Judicial District in Davidson County, at Nashville. Under the settlement, consumers who, between Dec. 21, 1995, and Dec. 31, 2002, resided in Tennessee and indirectly purchased certain Microsoft operating system, productivity suite, spreadsheet or word processing software for use in Tennessee and not for resale will be eligible to apply for the vouchers.
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