A proposed national settlement has been reached with Panasonic Corporation and its affiliates in two class actions with multiple defendants related to electronic component pricing practices dating back to 1997.
Panasonic agreed to pay $2.35 million for the benefit of settlement class members in an action related to linear resistors purchased between July 9, 2003 and September 14, 2015. In the tentative settlement of the second action, Panasonic agreed to pay $5.95 million related to claims for the pricing of electrolytic capacitors from September 1, 1997 to December 31, 2014 and $1.35 million related to claims for the pricing of film capacitors sold from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2014.
A “linear resistor” is an electronic component used to regulate the current in an electrical circuit, while the capacitors are used to store electrical charges. These components are commonly found in electronics such as smartphones, gaming consoles, home appliances and televisions.
The plaintiffs contend that companies who sell and manufacture these components conspired to control their prices affecting the amounts paid by purchasers of the components and products that contained the components. Panasonic also agreed to provide co-operation to the plaintiffs in claims against the continuing class actions against 30 defendants in the electrolytic class actions and 33 defendants in the film capacitor actions. A release announcing that settlement notes that it is not “an admission by Panasonic of liability, fault or wrongdoing, but is a compromise of disputed claims.” The actions also continue against other defendants in the linear resistors action.
Both settlements must be approved by multiple provincial courts. Details about provincial hearings and comment deadlines are available here.
Settlement amounts received are held in trust because the actions are still ongoing and there could be other settlements or judgments against other defendants.