Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation

In Re: Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation

Case Number: 3:10-MD-2143-RS, MDL 2143

What are Optical Disk Drives (ODD)?

An Optical Disk Drive (ODD) reads or writes data from optical disks, such as compact disks (CDs), DVDs, and Blue ray. These drives are the slot on, or connected to, your computer where you insert a disk. In this settlement, the drives that are eligible are DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, and COMBO drives. In other words, all DVD drives are included, but solo CD drives are not eligible.

What is it About?

This antitrust class action lawsuit alleges that ODD suppliers conspired to fix, maintain, and stabilize the prices of ODD at artificially high levels between 2003 and 2008.  These suppliers engaged in bid-rigging that was part of an industry-wide price-fixing conspiracy that involved agreements, exchanges of price, output and other confidential information. While the defendants did not dispute that there were instances of anti-competitive conduct, including bid-rigging during ODD procurements by Dell, HP and Microsoft, they disputed whether the anti-competitive conduct went beyond the occasional rigged bid.

Who is Eligible?

You are included in the settlements and certified class if:

  1. You purchased a new computer with an internal ODD, a stand-alone ODD designed for internal use in a computer, or an ODD designed to be attached externally to a computer for your own use and not for resale; ODD (optical disk drive) refers to a DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, or COMBO drive. All DVD drives are eligible. Solo CD drives are not eligible.
  2. You made this purchase while a resident of Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin; and
  3. You made this purchase between April 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008.

Panasonic-branded computers are excluded from the class. ODDs purchased directly from a defendant are also excluded from the class. You do not need to have a proof-of-purchase or retain the item to participate in the settlements.

What is the Status?

The indirect purchase claims were appealed to the Ninth Circuit delaying the distribution of settlement dollars. On May 15, 2020, the Ninth Circuit vacated the District Court’s award of attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses and remanded the case for further consideration and findings. The indirect purchaser class counsel and objectors are currently briefing the attorney’s fee and expense schedule. It is unclear when the judge will decide on the issue after the briefing is completed. Moving forward, the judge may decide upon the issue based on the briefing or set a date for oral argument. At which point, the objectors may appeal the Judge’s decision and further delay distribution.

How much will it Pay?

The first group of Settling Defendants (HLDS, NEC/Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, PLDS, and TEAC) agreed to pay $180 million. An additional settlement with SEC, Toshiba Corp. and TSST provides an additional $25 million.

The actual compensation for class members is not yet known. The calculation based off both (1) the number of ODDs purchased by the class member; and (2) the number of valid claims filed, currently estimates $10/drive. This number could increase or decrease as the case progresses. The total settlement amount is fixed at $250 million.

What are the Deadlines?

If you file a claim before June 28, 2019, that claim will also be counted toward all of the settlements reached to date, as well as any future settlements that may be reached with the remaining defendants in the case, unless you specifically excluded yourself from any of those settlements. 

Additional Information

For additional information regarding the status of the litigation, interested persons may visit http://www.dollarsfordiskdrives.com/, the Court-approved website for this case.

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