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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 21:44 GMT 22:44 UK
Microsoft settles anti-trust case
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates
Bill Gates' firm has faced a few legal challenges in recent years
Microsoft has been given preliminary approval to settle a class-action anti-trust case in Arizona by giving away $105m (57m) in computer vouchers.

The software giant had been accused of using its monopoly position to over charge for its software.

Under the deal businesses and homes who bought Microsoft products between January 1996 and January 2002 will get vouchers of up to $24 each.

These will be valid for the products of any computer firm, not just Microsoft.

Under the settlement, which has been given preliminary approval by an Arizona judge, the state's public schools will get 50% of any unclaimed or unredeemed vouchers.

Final approval of the deal is set for December.

No stranger to facing legal action, last year Microsoft settled a California class-action suit for $1.1bn in vouchers.

And it is currently appealing against a 497m euros ($606m; 331m) fine from the European Union, which ruled that Microsoft abused its dominant market position.

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