Microsoft settles class actions in Dakotas

Microsoft settles class actions in Dakotas

Microsoft has agreed to pay as much as $US18.33 million to settle class action lawsuits in North Dakota and South Dakota that alleged the vendor overcharged for its software.

Both settlements are similar to the ones Microsoft has agreed to in other states. Buyers of Microsoft's Windows, Office or standalone Word or Excel products can apply for vouchers that may be used to buy desktop or notebook computers, software or select peripherals from any vendor.

For North Dakota, the maximum value of the vouchers issued would total $9 million, Microsoft said. For South Dakota the maximum was $9.33 million.

As with the other settlements, one-half of any unclaimed vouchers would be donated to schools, the vendor said.

In late October, Microsoft announced settlements with several US states. That announcement included North and South Dakota, but the settlements had not yet been approved and no details were given at the time. The settlements received preliminary approval last Wednesday, Microsoft said.

The North Dakota and South Dakota settlements differ in the period they cover.

North Dakotans who bought qualifying Microsoft software between May 18, 1994 and December 31, 2002, were eligible for vouchers, Microsoft said. For South Dakotans the period was between March 10, 1996 and December 31, 2002.

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