Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Antitrust Settlement in Arizona Might Not be 'Funny Money'

Horseshoe Bend



Summary: The difference between software coupons and purchasing of new equipment

ABOUT a fortnight ago we complained that Microsoft 'compensated' Wisconsin and also Mississippi using 'funny money', which means that it's not real money but merely discounts on future purchases of software, probably from Microsoft whose monopoly was acquired using the same crimes it was sued for in the first place. It's almost satirical.



“Free (libre) software needs no vouchers because it rarely has a cost of acquisition (i.e. it is commonly also gratis).”Granted, Microsoft has almost no production costs involved in duplication of software, so this is a mockery and hardly even a fine for well-documented criminal behaviour. This may actually serve as more of a reward than a punishment because it helps future spreading of Microsoft software. Free (libre) software needs no vouchers because it rarely has a cost of acquisition (i.e. it is commonly also gratis).

Another settlement has just been reached (this time in Arizona) and based on the descriptions, although they are not very specific, it seems likely that hardware -- not software -- will be paid for by Microsoft. The amount of money, however, is almost negligible, especially for a large area like Arizona. From Law 360:

A judge has granted preliminary approval of a Microsoft Corp. antitrust class action settlement that will see the software giant give government entities in Arizona $4.4 million to purchase new computer equipment.


According to Wikipedia, Arizona has more than 6 million tenants, so that makes it less than one dollar in compensation per citizen. What a farce. Well, Arizona has been helpful to Microsoft lobbyists who register domains by proxy.

The pro-Microsoft source claims that "The money would be distributed among the government agencies for use in purchasing computer equipment." It is more repetition of the above, so it does not help in clarifying.

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