Report: Microsoft to settle private suits

After finally reaching a deal in its antitrust battle against the U.S. Department of Justice and nine states earlier this month, Microsoft could be close to settling the host of private suits still nipping at the software titan, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

According to the report, Microsoft was still hammering out a deal Monday night whereby it would supply computers and software to more than 14,000 of the U.S.'s poorest schools over the next five years in order to settle the scores of private suits that remain against it.

Plaintiffs in the private antitrust lawsuits claim that Microsoft used a desktop operating system monopoly to force users to pay inflated prices for the company's software.

The deal would reportedly cost Microsoft US$1.1 billion and is due to be approved by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz in Baltimore, who is overseeing the class action suits, the Journal said.

No one at Microsoft was immediately available for comment Tuesday morning.

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