On May 31, the court in the dispute between International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ) and its franchisees gave final approval to a settlement announced on March 10, 2000. Judge Wilbur Owens of the United State District Court for the Middle District of Georgia-Macon Division found that the class-action lawsuit’s settlement terms are fair, reasonable and adequate.

The court’s decision effectively ends litigation that was started by a group of franchisees in April of 1994. IDQ denied any wrongdoing or liability related to this lawsuit. The parties concluded that further conduct of the litigation would be expensive and protracted and preclude the Dairy Queen system from moving forward in a positive and united effort.

The settlement calls for a commitment from International Dairy Queen to contribute an average of nearly $5 million annually during the next six years to the franchise system’s national advertising fund. In another major term of the settlement, IDQ committed more than $6 million to the Dairy Queen Operators’ Cooperative to provide for the continued availability of alternative sources of food products and supplies for the Dairy Queen system’s stores.

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