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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
Microsoft settles anti-trust case
Bill Gates
Microsoft is hoping that the future will hold fewer court cases
Software giant Microsoft has settled a class-action anti-trust lawsuit bought against it by customers in Minnesota who claimed they had been overcharged.

Microsoft said final terms of the settlement - which ends a jury trial that started in March - had yet to be worked out.

Lawyers for the customers had said they were seeking as much as $505m (279m).

It comes days after Microsoft agreed to pay Californian firm InterTrust $440m to end a legal row over patents.

Prize witnesses

Microsoft has also recently paid $1.6bn to end another patents dispute, this time with Sun Microsystems.

It has also been hit with a record fine of more than $600m from the European Union, pending appeal.

Speaking about the latest settlement a Microsoft spokeswoman said, "Terms won't be disclosed until it's presented a judge in June."

If the court case had continued, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and chief executive Steve Ballmer had been named as witnesses.

Microsoft has previously settled legal disputes with nine US states and the city of Washington DC, paying out a total of $1.5bn.

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