Microsoft Derivative Action

Barovic v. Ballmer, Lead Case No. 14-cv-00540 (W.D. Wash) (Microsoft derivative action): In 2016, the Weiser Firm, serving as Co-Lead Counsel in the Microsoft derivative action, produced an outstanding settlement in a shareholder derivative action based on Microsoft Corp.’s failure in 2012 to comply with a European Union antitrust settlement agreement. The settlement consisted of a series of targeted corporate governance enhancements and antitrust oversight mechanisms which were meticulously crafted with the direct involvement and assistance of one of the world’s leading antitrust law experts. The centerpiece of these reforms was the creation of a new Antitrust Compliance Office at Microsoft, which was given a broad (and unprecedented) mandate to oversee and monitor Microsoft’s antitrust compliance with existing European Commission commitments, as well as any future European Union and U.S. regulatory decisions, consent decrees, commitments and undertakings entered into by Microsoft relating to any antitrust issues. In addition, as part of the settlement, Microsoft established a $42.5 million fund to safeguard the budget of its new Antitrust Compliance Office during its first five years. As one of country’s top corporate governance experts commented: “I have never before seen such an ample funding commitment as undertaken here by Microsoft as a result of this Settlement to assure that these reforms will be put into practice.”