Microsoft and Microsoft Canada have agreed to pay up to $409,936,100 CAD to settle several class action lawsuits over allegations they were involved in a conspiracy to inflate the prices of certain Microsoft products.
If you purchased PC versions of Microsoft products such as MS-DOS, Windows, Office, Word and/or Excel between 1998 and 2010, you may be entitled to a cash payment from the Canada Microsoft class action settlement.
Although the class action lawsuits were initiated in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, residents of all Canadian provinces and territories are included in the Microsoft settlement.
In May 2016, the Microsoft class action lawsuit went to trial but the parties subsequently engaged in mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute. On July 11, 2018, the parties reportedly reached a nationwide class action settlement.
Microsoft Class Action Lawsuit Allegations
“The plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft engaged in an unlawful and anti-competitive campaign that had the purpose and effect of destroying competition in the markets for Intel-compatible PC OS and office productivity applications software,” according to the Microsoft class action settlement documents.
The plaintiffs accused the defendants of engaging in a variety of anticompetitive practices that allowed them to artificially raise the prices of their products. According to the Microsoft class action lawsuit, Microsoft allegedly entered into unlawful contracts with competitors, personal computer makers and independent software vendors since 1988.
In addition, Microsoft allegedly made false, misleading and deceptive statements to its competitors, industry participants, and to the public. The lawsuit alleged that this anticompetitive behaviour constituted a conspiracy in breach of common law and the Competition Act.
The class action lawsuits Canada were certified in 2016 and in February 2020 the British Columbia Court approved the notice program and settlement claims program. A claims administrator was also appointed to distribute settlement funds to eligible Class Members.
Microsoft Denies Wrongdoing in Settlement
The Microsoft defendants deny any wrongdoing or liability but agreed to settle the Microsoft software class action lawsuits to avoid the burden and expense of ongoing litigation.
In approving the Microsoft class action settlement, the British Columbia judge noted that “there was a serious risk that the court would find that Microsoft’s conduct did not constitute a conspiracy, but rather was unilateral or monopolistic conduct that is not unlawful and actionable in Canada.”
The judge also noted that the allegations did not fall into the category of a “traditional horizontal price-fixing conspiracy case.”
The deadline to opt out of this class action settlement has passed, and no Class Members are reported to have opted out of the settlement.
The total amount that Microsoft will be required to pay depends on the total number of claims submitted by Class Members.
Under the terms of the Microsoft settlement, a portion of unclaimed funds may be distributed as vouchers to schools in Canada, if the claims submitted by eligible Class Members do not exceed the value of the available settlement fund.
Class Members of the Microsoft settlement include anyone who was a Canadian resident as of May 25, 2016 and who, between Dec. 23, 1998 and March 11, 2010, purchased a license for PC versions of Microsoft MS-DOS, Windows, Word, Excel, Office, Works Suite or Home Essentials software.
NOTE: You must have made the purchase for personal or business use in Canada on an Intel-compatible PC. If you purchased a PC with pre-loaded Microsoft software during the Class Period, you may be eligible for compensation from the Microsoft settlement.
$6.50 – $13 per Microsoft product license.
The Microsoft class action settlement offers two categories of compensation to eligible Class Members: cash payments or volume licensee vouchers.
Consumer Cash Payments are available to eligible Class Members who purchased a license for one of the Microsoft products listed here.
Volume Licensee Vouchers are available to eligible Class Members who purchased a license for one of the Microsoft products listed here through a Microsoft volume licensing program (including Open, Select and Enterprise Agreements).
Proof of Purchase
None required, unless you are claiming more than $250 for individual software licenses or more than $650 for volume licenses.
Accepted documentation for consumer cash payments includes receipts, product identification number, product key number, the original COA or other credible written evidence.
Accepted documentation for volume licensee vouchers includes receipts, the license agreement, license confirmation, interim true-up orders, Enterprise Agreement enrollment forms, Open documentation, Volume Licensing Servicing Centre documentation, printed information obtained from Microsoft’s End User Data, or other credible written evidence.
NOTE: If you do not qualify for this settlement do NOT file a claim.
Remember: you are submitting your claim under penalty of perjury. You are also harming other eligible Class Members by submitting a fraudulent claim. If you’re unsure if you qualify, please read the FAQ section of the Settlement Administrator’s website to ensure you meet all standards (Top Class Actions is not a Settlement Administrator). If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other open class action settlements you may be eligible for.
Claim Form Deadline
Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v. Microsoft Corporation, 2020 BCSC 229, in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada
Canadian Microsoft Software Class Actions Claims Administrator
c/o Epiq Class Action Services Canada Inc.
P.O. Box 507 STN B
Ottawa ON K1P 5P6
J.J. Camp Q.C.
CAMP FIORANTE MATTHEWS MOGERMAN
Heather Rumble Peterson
STROSBERG SASSO SUTTS LLP
BOUCHARD + AVOCATS INC.
D. Geoffrey Cowper
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP
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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.