The state antitrust lawsuit against computer giant Microsoft that got underway in a Polk County courtroom in November ended there today with the announcement of a settlement. All of the details of the settlement won’t be revealed until a hearing on April 20th, but both sides did say any unclaimed proceeds from the case will go to the Iowa Department of Education to help school districts buy computers for districts that need them.
Rick Hagstrom, one of the lawyers for the state, says the April hearing will set things in motion to put the case to rest. Hagstrom says all the members of the class action suit will be given notice of the terms of the settlement and then are given the opportunity to object or opt out of the settlement. He says there will be a final approval hearing at the end of August where the judge will make the final decision as to whether to accept the settlement.
Several other states have reached settlements with Microsoft, but Hagstrom says Iowa’s settlement won’t be exactly like the others. He says there is some similarity, but says there are also "some very unique provisions here" that he says will make people "very pleased" when those provisions are revealed in April. The settlement ended a trial that was to see Microsoft found Bill Gates come to Des Moines to testify, and
Hagstrom says it also cut off what were sure to be many more days in the courtroom. Hagstrom says they were halfway through their case and then Microsoft had to put on its case, so the trial likely would have been completed around June. Hagstrom says the thousands of Iowans who are a part of the settlement will get a notice of the results of the settlement after the April announcement.