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Microsoft to fork out $180m to Iowa

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Microsoft is paying Iowans $180m to settle a class-action lawsuit that claimed the company abused its monopoly position to overcharge PC shoppers.

The deal covers consumers who purchased Microsoft's PC software between 1994 and 2006, and who, prosecutors said, spent $453m more than they should have.

Under the agreement, reached in February, Microsoft will refund users $16 for each copy of Windows or MS-DOS, $25 for Excel, and $29 for Office. Users of Word, Works, and Home Essentials get $10 per copy of the software.

The offer will test users' honesty. No proof of purchase is required for online claims of up to $100 or mail claims of up to $200, however claimants will be required to sign a legal document that says their claim is genuine. Those making a false claim could be charged with perjury.

Businesses that purchased multiple copies of products can receive a discount on new software from Microsoft.

Final approval of the deal is expected in August. ®

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