Why The Microsoft Settlement Debate Is A Waste

from the what-does-one-have-to-do-with-the-other dept

This Forbes article brings up a really good point that I had thought about (and then promptly forgot) when Microsoft first announced that settlement to “donate” software to poor schools to settle their class action (non-government) anti-trust lawsuit. What does one have to do with the other? If Microsoft really violated anti-trust laws and hurt the complainants in this suit, shouldn’t the remedy be for those in the class? If Microsoft wants to help out schools with any sort of donation, why shouldn’t they just make the donation and be done with it? There’s no law preventing Microsoft from donating whatever the hell they want to whichever schools they chose, right? It’s unclear, though, why that should be an acceptable remedy to a class action lawsuit. Does this mean that the next time any company gets sued, they can just say “oh, we’ll donate x amount of product to some needy charity – now go away”?

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