AG Gansler Urges DRAM Chip Consumers to File Claims and SecureTheir Share of a $310 Million Price Fixing Settlement
Any eligible Maryland consumer who purchased computers, printers, video game consoles or other electronic devices with DRAM memory could get money
Simple online claim form requires no proof of purchase: www.DRAMclaims.com
Baltimore, MD (March 4, 2014) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is urging electronics consumers in Maryland to file claims and recover money due to them under a federal court's preliminary approval of multi-state settlements with all major manufacturers of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) computer chips. The $310 million settlement resolves allegations that the chip makers conspired to fix prices in the United States between 1998 and 2002. Consumers will not be required to produce receipts to submit a claim if they bought a DRAM chip or an electronic device that contains such a chip during that time.
"Maryland consumers who know or can estimate the number of devices they bought during this period should go online and file a claim," said Attorney General Gansler. "This case, which has been in the works for years, shows we are committed to providing real relief to all Maryland consumer victimized by this price-fixing scheme."
Any consumer who purchased one or more of the following between 1998 and 2002 is eligible to make a claim:
- Desktop computers
- Laptop computers
- Computer servers
- Computer graphics cards
- Video game consoles
- MP3 players
- DVD players
- Digital video recorders
If you purchased other technology devices that contain a DRAM memory chip, you may also be eligible to make a claim.
To file a claim, visit www.DRAMclaims.com or call 1-800-589-1425. 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 chips or products containing them are expected to get a minimum $10 payment per claim and may ultimately receive the amount by which they overpaid due to the alleged price fixing.
After completing an investigation in 2006, Maryland, along with other states, filed antitrust lawsuits in federal court alleging that Maryland consumers overpaid for electronic devices containing DRAM for purchases between 1998 to 2002. The manufacturers of this common form of memory chip include American companies Micron Technology, Inc., and NEC Electronics America, Inc., and foreign companies Infineon Technologies, Hynix Semiconductor, Elpida Memory, Inc., and Mosel-Vitelic Corp.
The settlements pay individuals and businesses that purchased DRAM or devices containing DRAM in the United States from retailers such as Best Buy or Staples during the effective time period. 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 the antitrust laws.
Any payments resulting from the settlement can not 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 two years. Also, if too many or too few claims are received, the court may order that the settlement funds be provided to public or nonprofit organizations in addition to or instead of consumers who file claims.