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RealTime IT News

Microsoft to Pay Mass. Nearly $1M

A federal district court judge ordered Microsoft to pay Massachusetts nearly $1 million for attorneys' relating to the landmark anti-trust case.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued the ruling yesterday awarding Massachusetts $967,014, ending nine months of litigation over the compensation issue.

But she also criticized the state Attorney General's office for not keeping more detailed records, which could have raised the award.

"Given the deficient documentation and lack of explanation provided by the plaintiff, the Court considers this to be a generous award," Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her 63-page decision.

Sarah Nathan, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts AG's office, said its attorneys "presented sufficient filings based on state law."

Despite missing some fees, the award compensates the state for its work on the case over six years. The amount requested was based on the hourly rate for anti-trust lawyers in the Washington, D.C. area, which approaches $400 per hour.

The cash amount was more than West Virginia, which settled with Microsoft in June, recieved. The state recieved $300,000 for attorneys' fees and vouchers worth about $19.7 million for hardware and software.

Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake McCredy said the company was pleased with Kollar-Kotelly move to reduce the legal fee request by more than half.

"We respectfully disagreed with Massachusetts' request for fees on the basis that they did not prevail on the vast majority of their original claims," she said. "Our priority is to move past this case and to build more constructive relationships with state governments."

Be that as it may, the Redmond, Wash., software giant and the state aren't done in court yet. Massachusetts, the last of the states to settle, is appealing the settlement approved by Kollar-Kotelly in November 2002. Oral arguments begin in November.