Feeds

Microsoft settles six more suits

Halfway to freedom

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft has reached the "halfway point" in its legal marathon after announcing settlements Tuesday with five more states and the District of Columbia.

Brad Smith, general counsel at Microsoft, presided over a conference call with the press to cover deals reached with Kansas, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Tennessee, North Dakota and South Dakota. All told the class action settlements have a "face value" of $200 million. Microsoft must still deal with five other states and come to terms in suits with Sun Microsystems, Burst.com and the European Union.

"I think we have passed the halfway point and perhaps gone a bit farther," Smith said, referring to the sum total of Microsoft's legal troubles.

Microsoft has now come to terms with 10 states that had brought class action antitrust suits against the company. Microsoft could pay out as much as $1.55 billion as a result of the deals - the vast majority of that amount coming from a $1.1 billion agreement with California.

The settlements are based, in part, on the size of a state's population and its class action lawsuit provisions. In all cases, the class can receive vouchers to be used toward computer hardware, software and training. Large portions of any unclaimed vouchers are then awarded to schools. While the vouchers do not require the purchase of Microsoft kit, the Beast will no doubt see plenty of the cash coming back its way.

The pre-call Calypso hold music put reporters in a soft, warm place before Smith jumped on the horn to air Microsoft's dirty laundry. The hardest working man in tech litigation rattled off one lawsuit after another in impressive fashion. He assured the audience of eager journos that Microsoft has learned a lot in its journey through the System. One lesson is that it must work to be kinder and gentler towards the rest of the industry. (Twenty lawsuits will do that to a company.)

Microsoft even managed to offer up an olive branch - or was it hemlock - to Sun.

"We hope that there may come a day in the future when the relationship between the two companies is more constructive," Smith said.

Not bloody likely.

Microsoft ranks its battles with Sun, the EU, Burst.com and an appeal from the state of Massachusetts, as the four main legal hurdles it must still cross.

The company was also proud to point out that 17 class action lawsuits have either been dismissed or failed to reach class action status.

All told, Microsoft has escaped several years of litigation with but a few slaps on the wrist and fines that are hardly noticed in its massive bottom line. Not bad for a convicted monopolist. It's enough even to make Admiral Poindexter proud. ®

Related Link

Microsoft statement

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.