updated 12:20 pm EST, Sat March 8, 2014
Suit over price fixing from 1998 to 2002 result in $10 for those affected
A class action lawsuit brought forward by the Attorneys General for 33 states over price fixing for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) has reached a settlement, with manufacturers agreeing to pay out $310 million nationwide. Of the settlement amount, around $200 million will go to consumers and businesses that purchased devices with DRAM or DRAM itself from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2002.
Payouts for customers affected by the suit could start from $10 at minimum, while customers that had purchased large volumes may see thousands of dollars from the settlement. The amount could change, given the number of parties involved with the settlement. If the small claims are fewer than 2.5 million in number, payouts will be "increased pro rata above $10, up to a maximum of the estimated actual single damages from the alleged overcharge for each claimant, until the available funds up to $25 million are exhausted." If the entire $25 million isn't used, the remaining will be given to non-profit organizations. If more than five million small claimants are involved, none will receive a cash settlement. Instead, $40 million will be given to non-profit organizations.
Claims must be filed with the DRAM Claims website by August 1. Purchases made directly from manufacturers don't qualify for the settlement. Devices that used DRAM like video game consoles, graphics cards and MP3 players are covered in the suit.
If a party wishes not to be bound by the ruling of the settlement, they will have until May 5 to be excluded. On June 25, a hearing will take place to determine the approval of the settlement, and request to cover up to 25 percent of the settlement attorneys' fees and associated expenses.