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Microsoft Iowa settlement gets preliminary nod

The software giant will pay as much as $179 million in total to individuals and businesses that purchased certain Microsoft apps.

Microsoft said Wednesday that a judge in Iowa has given preliminary approval to a settlement of a consumer antitrust case in that state. The settlement, which was reached in February as the case was in trial, calls for Microsoft to pay as much as $179 million to individuals and businesses that purchased Microsoft operating systems and Office applications between May 18, 1994 and June 30, 2006.

Under the terms of the deal, which is slated for a final approval hearing on August 31, those who bought Windows or MS-DOS will be eligible for $16; those who bought office $29; Excel $25; and Word purchasers can get $10. Individuals will get cash, while volume license purchasers will get vouchers toward future tech purchases.