JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced the final payment on Friday from Microsoft as part of a multimillion-dollar antitrust settlement the company reached with the state in 2009.
Hood launched an antitrust lawsuit against the software development giant in 2004, alleging that it illegally overcharged Mississippi residents by creating a monopoly for their computer operating system software, including Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME, as well as other Microsoft products such as Microsoft Excel, Word and other applications.
"We collected $48.5 million for the state and $1 million for Mississippi consumers who redeemed their vouchers," Hood said. "Mississippi recovered more than any other state and it did not cost the taxpayers anything, because we made Microsoft pay our attorneys."
The company settled with the state and gave Mississippi $40 million in 2009, which Hood immediately directed to state coffers to offset shortfalls in the state budget. The company has since paid an additional $3.5 million, $1 million of which was returned in vouchers to qualifying Microsoft users, including schools, businesses and individuals.
The settlement called for the company to provide $60 million worth of $12 coupons. Private attorneys hired to represent Hood's office collected $10 million.
The settlement agreement allowed Microsoft to hold back its final installment in case citizens filed objections to the settlement or filed individual lawsuits. Because nothing was filed, Microsoft paid the full final payment necessary to the state.