A US judge gave final approval Wednesday to the US$1.1 billion settlement between Microsoft and plaintiffs who filed a class-action lawsuit against the company in the state of California.

The class-action lawsuit accused Microsoft of overcharging California consumers, schools, and businesses for Windows and other products.

In his 31-page order, California Superior Court Judge Paul Alvarado said the amount "constitutes fair, reasonable and adequate compensation to the Class."

The lawsuit was originally settled in January 2003, when the parties agreed that Microsoft must offer vouchers, ranging in amount from $4 to $29, to customers in California who purchased Microsoft software between February 18, 1995, and December 15, 2001.

This settlement represents the largest recovery ever achieved for consumers under California's antitrust and unfair competition laws, according to law firm Townsend and Townsend and Crew, which launched the action in 1999.