Microsoft Strikes Another Class-Action Deal

The software behemoth agrees to pay consumers in New Mexico up to $31.5 million.
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on Tuesday said it has resolved yet another nagging legal problem, and agreed to pay New Mexico consumers as much as $31.5 million to settle a class-action suit.

The suit in New Mexico, as well as similar suits in other states, claimed that consumers were overcharged for software by Microsoft, the world's largest software company. The settlement won preliminary approval in July, and will allow eligible consumers to receive vouchers from Microsoft that can be used to buy computer hardware or software from any manufacturer.

The settlements rest on a finding by a federal judge that Microsoft is a monopoly that has abused its dominance in the marketplace.

"This settlement allows us to focus on the future and building great software, and avoids the cost and uncertainty of litigation," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in a statement.

Microsoft has

settled suits with 15 states and the District of Columbia for a total of at least $1.5 billion, but class actions are still pending in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Half the value of unused settlement vouchers will be turned over to the New Mexico school system, Microsoft said.

Shares of the Redmond giant closed down 45 cents, or 1.58%, to $28.07.