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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 20:24 GMT
Microsoft settles lawsuits for $200m
Microsoft sign
Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, has said it has agreed to pay $200m to settle six class-action lawsuits filed in a number of US states.

The class actions accused Microsoft of using its dominant position in the market to overcharge for its software.

Under the terms of the settlements, eligible buyers of the company's software can claim vouchers that can be used to buy computer equipment or software.

Half of the vouchers that go unclaimed will be given to schools.

The agreements were reached in Kansas, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota and Tennessee.

'Good progress'

Microsoft has been dogged by lawsuits accusing it of abusing its dominant position in the world's computer business.

The company said it had now settled 10 consumer class actions over the past year, at a total cost of $1.55bn.

The largest settlement was agreed in January, when Microsoft agreed to pay up to $1.1bn to 13 million eligible consumers and business in California.

Suits are still pending in five states - Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico and Wisconsin.

"To look at all this in perspective, it's clear that we've made a good deal of progress in the past year and it's clear that we have to keep focusing, keep moving forward," said Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel.

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