Proposed Microsoft Settlement Rejected — U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz agreed with critics that the proposed $1 billion settlement of the combined private class-action suits against Microsoft appeared to "provide a means for flooding a part of the kindergarten through high school market, in which Microsoft has not traditionally been the strongest player (particularly in relation to Apple), with Microsoft software and refurbished hardware." (See "Into the Briar Patch: Microsoft’s Self-Serving Settlement" in TidBITS-607.) In rejecting the settlement, Judge Motz also commented that the proposal for Microsoft to give away software "could be viewed as constituting ‘court approved predatory pricing.’" Despite these harsh words, Judge Motz was not unsympathetic the basic idea behind the settlement, but he suggested that Microsoft should pay the settlement amount in cash into a special fund, from which schools could purchase whatever hardware and software they chose. Lawyers for both sides said they would continue to work on a revised settlement, and failing that, go to trial. [ACE]
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