Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Announces Settlements Worth $310 Million for DRAM Memory Chips
Consumers who purchased computers, printers, video game consoles, or other electronic devices with DRAM memory could get money from settlements.
MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that consumers can now file claims to recover money due to preliminary approval of multi-state settlements worth $310 million with all of the major manufacturers of Dynamic Random Access Memory computer chips (“DRAM”) for conspiring to fix their prices. Consumers who can submit claims include those who paid more for DRAM or for the many electronic devices that contain DRAM.
“I am pleased that Wisconsin consumers will see redress from this long-running case against DRAM manufacturers,” Van Hollen said. “Because DRAM chips are in most electronics, I hope that many citizens and businesses in Wisconsin will consider filing a claim.”
After completing an investigation in 2006, the State of Wisconsin, with other states, filed antitrust lawsuits in federal court alleging that Wisconsin consumers over-paid for electronic devices containing DRAM for their purchases made from 1998 to 2002. DRAM is a common form of memory chip found in computers and other high technology devices.
The settlements, reached in conjunction with private actions, pay individuals and businesses that purchased DRAM or devices containing DRAM in the United States during 1998 to 2002 from someone 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 the antitrust laws.
To receive money from the settlement, eligible consumers need to submit a claim form by August 1, 2014 with the settlement 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 www.DRAMclaims.com or call 1-800-589-1425.
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 also containing DRAM memory, you also may be eligible to make a claim. More information is available through www.DRAMclaims.com.
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 two 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.
The State of Wisconsin also was awarded money for state and local governments, universities, and colleges for their purchases during 1998 to 2002. This money will be distributed separately with details to be announced after final approval of the settlements, and these organizations do not need to file claims in this action.
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