Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Californians Say, "Ixne" to Anti-trust Law

Voting with their indifference, California's software consumers demonstrate what a joke the Microsoft class action anti-trust suit really was:

With only a few days remaining before a Saturday deadline, about 80 of California's largest 100 companies have filed to receive part of a $1.1 billion antitrust settlement with Microsoft, a lawyer involved in the settlement said yesterday.

But it appears that only a small percentage of customers eligible to receive part of the settlement have filed to claim their share, said the lawyer, Richard L. Grossman of Townsend, Townsend & Crew, the lead lawyer representing California consumers in the settlement fight.

The settlement stems from a 1999 class-action lawsuit filed in California that accused Microsoft of overcharging customers for its software. After a long court battle, Microsoft settled the lawsuit in June 2003, though the company denies it gouged California consumers.

Meaning that the big winners were the lawyers, and a few large corporations. Those on whose behalf this fight was ostensibly waged, merely shrugged:

...consumers and companies can receive vouchers worth $5 for each copy of Microsoft Word they purchased, $16 for each copy of Microsoft Windows and $29 for each copy of Microsoft Office, which includes Word and Excel.

....Lawyers estimate that 14 million people and businesses in California are eligible to receive vouchers. But as of Dec. 28, only 620,000 claims had been filed....

The FLUBA Statistics Dept. makes that about 4% pro, 96% anti, the anti-trust suit.

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