Microsoft is in talks with Apple to avoid a challenge to the planned US$1.1 billion antitrust settlement that the company claims gives Microsoft an unfair advantage in the education market, reports Bloomberg. Microsoft has agreed to settle California consumer lawsuits accusing it of violating antitrust laws and driving up software prices. Apple says that under the terms of the settlement, Microsoft would end up giving products to California schools, resulting in unfair competition. According to analysts, the talks indicate that Microsoft is seeking to prevent a prolonged battle to win court approval for the settlement. Apple’s complaints helped derail a proposed Microsoft settlement in 2001.