Microsoft settles private antitrust suits


Tuesday, November 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



SEATTLE (AP) _ Microsoft Corp. has reached a settlement in most of the private antitrust lawsuits filed against the huge software company, a lawyer for some of the plaintiffs confirmed Tuesday.

Michael Hausfeld, representing a group of private plaintiffs in Washington, D.C., said in a telephone interview that Microsoft has agreed to provide more than $1 billion worth of software, training and computers to thousands of the nation's poorest schools over five years.

Microsoft had no immediate comment but scheduled a conference call to discuss the matter later in the day.

The settlement would put to rest most of the private lawsuits alleging that Microsoft abused its monopoly power in the software market and overcharged millions of computer buyers. However, it must first be approved by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz in Baltimore, who is overseeing the class-action suits.

The deal has yet to be signed, Hausfeld said, although the two sides have agreed to terms. It is expected to be presented to Motz on Wednesday, and a hearing to discuss the settlement is scheduled for next Tuesday in Baltimore.