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Judge waves through MS $1.1bn California settlement

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Microsoft has secured court approval for the $1.1bn settlement of the California class action, alleging overcharging and abuse of state anti-trust laws. California Superior Court Judge Paul Alvarado said the offer was “fair, reasonable and adequate compensation”.

So far, 600,000 Californians have lined up to claim their Microsoft vouchers, redeemable for cash after buying computer kit or software from any manufacturer. But up to 14m are eligible. Did you buy Microsoft software in California between Feb 18, 1995 and December 2001? Then form an orderly line for a claim form.

The vouchers are for buyers of desktop apps and operating systems - buyers of server software and Apple software are not eligible. Two thirds of the value of unclaimed vouchers will be doled out to California schools in poor areas. And the class action lawyers? They get fees and expenses of up to $275m.

As ever Microsoft denies any wrongdoing. But it has put behind it another class action and the biggest to boot. In recent weeks, the firm has settled class suits with 12 states. ®

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