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Connecticut announces approval of $310 million in settlements to benefit purchasers of DRAM memory chips, products

Christian Fernsby |
Attorney General George Jepsen announced that consumers can now file claims to recover money due to federal court preliminary approval of multistate antitrust settlements worth $310 million with all the major manufacturers of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) computer chips for conspiring to fix their prices.

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Claim eligible consumers include those who paid more for DRAM or for the many electronic devices that contain DRAM. DRAM is a common form of memory chip found in computers and other high technology devices.

“Connecticut consumers, along with consumers nationwide, deserve the benefits and price advantages of a free and open marketplace when shopping for computers and other electronic devices,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “When companies conspire together to fix prices for a product, they illegally eliminate competition and harm consumers.”

After completing an investigation in 2006, Connecticut, along with other states, settled allegations with major DRAM producers Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Winbond Electronics Co. that consumers over-paid for electronic devices containing DRAM for their purchases made from 1998 to 2002. Other settlements with major DRAM manufacturers followed, all of which have now been initially approved by a federal district court in San Francisco.

The settlements, reached in conjunction with a number of class-action lawsuits filed, pay individuals and businesses that purchased DRAM or devices containing DRAM in the United States during 1998 to 2002 from businesses other than a DRAM manufacturer, such as retailers like Best Buy or Staples.

The settlements also require the DRAM manufacturers to implement antitrust compliance programs and enjoin them from certain conduct related to the sale of DRAM that would violate antitrust laws.

To receive money from the settlement, eligible consumers need to submit a claim form by August 1, 2014, with the settlements’ administrator. The amount of money received depends on the type and quantity of electronic devices a claimant has purchased and the total number of claims made.

Individuals who purchased DRAM or products containing DRAM are expected to get a minimum $10 payment and may end up receiving up to the amount of the overpayment they actually made due to the alleged price fixing. To file a claim, visit or call 1-800-589-1425.

Any consumer who purchased one or more of the following products between 1998 and 2002 is eligible to make a claim:

• Desktop computers,

• Laptop computers,

• Computer servers,

• Computer graphics cards,

• Printers,

• Video game consoles,

• MP3 players,

• PDAs,

• DVD players, and

• Digital video recorders.

If you purchased other technology devices also containing DRAM memory, you also may be eligible to make a claim.

Any payments resulting from the settlement cannot be made until the court has granted final approval to the settlements, including the resolution of any appeals. It is anticipated that final approval will occur within the next few years. Also, if too many or few claims are received, the court may order that the settlement funds be provided to public or non-profit organizations in addition to or instead of consumers who file claims.

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