Microsoft not guilty of ignoring disclosure ruling

Microsoft has been cleared of not complying with orders to disclose information to make its products more interoperable. The verdict was delivered as part of the latest status report on Microsoft's compliance with an antitrust settlement in the US.

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Microsoft has been cleared of not complying with orders to disclose information to make its products more interoperable. The verdict was delivered as part of the latest status report on Microsoft's compliance with an antitrust settlement in the US.

An expert witness in a class action suit filed in the US state of Iowa - Comes v Microsoft - testified that the company had not documented application programming interfaces (APIs) as required by the 2002 settlement with the US Department of Justice and states.

But those who brought the case that led to the 2002 settlement met with the expert witness in the Iowa case, concluding that "there is no evidence that Microsoft has not fully disclosed the APIs".

The conclusion was tucked away in the report, published by the US District Court for the District of Columbia, which monitors Microsoft's compliance with the antitrust settlement.

Microsoft reached a settlement in February in the Comes case, after the plaintiffs argued the company overcharged them for software.

In April, a judge gave preliminary approval to a settlement that called for Microsoft to pay up to $180m (£90m) to individual users and businesses that bought its software between 18 May 1994 and 30 June 2006. The case is due for a final review on 31 August.

If approved, eligible customers from the state of Iowa will be able to receive $16 (£8) for operating systems, $29 (£15) for Office, $25 (£13) for Excel and $10 (£5) for Word. Volume buyers will receive vouchers for products from Microsoft, its competitors and others, while individuals will be given cash.

Microsoft estimates that the Iowa settlement, along with settlements reached with Arkansas and Wisconsin in March, plus an outstanding case in Mississippi, could cost it between $1.7bn (£853m) and $1.9bn (£954m), according to a 26 April filing with the US Security and Exchange Commission.

Earlier this week, Microsoft agreed to make "significant changes" to its Vista operating system in order to stay in compliance with an anti-trust ruling.

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