www.opticaldiskdriveantitrust.com

This is the official website for the indirect purchaser settlements in the Optical Disk Drive Antitrust litigation. On this website you can find details about the litigation, settlements, and your options. A federal court has approved the notices and forms on this site, and the administrator who runs the site operates under the supervision of class counsel.

Legal Notice

In re Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation
United States District Court, Northern District of California
Case No. 3:10-MD-2143-RS (MDL 2143)

If you purchased a new computer with an internal ODD, a stand-alone ODD designed for internal use in a computer, or an ODD designed to be attached externally to a computer while a resident of Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin during the period of April 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008 for your own use and not for resale, you may be eligible for benefits from settlements reached in antitrust litigation currently pending in federal court. ODD refers to a DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, or COMBO drive manufactured by one or more Defendants or their alleged conspirators. For class members to ensure payment, you must file a claim online or by mail by July 1, 2017.


IF YOU ARE A CLASS MEMBER AND YOU WISH TO BE PART OF THIS SETTLEMENT, YOU MUST FILE A CLAIM ONLINE BY JULY 1, 2017 OR BY MAIL NO LATER THAN JULY 1, 2017. TO PROCEED ONLINE, PRESS THE BUTTON BELOW.


Why did I receive this notice?

Records indicate that you may be eligible for a payment from four separate settlements reached with: (i) Panasonic Corporation and Panasonic Corporation of North America (collectively “Panasonic”): (ii) NEC Corporation (“NEC”); (iii) Sony Corporation; Sony Optiarc Inc. (formerly known as Sony NEC Optiarc Inc.); and Sony Optiarc America Inc. (formerly known as Sony NEC Optiarc America Inc.) (collectively “Sony”); and (iv) Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. and Hitachi-LG Data Storage Korea, Inc. (collectively “HLDS”) in antitrust class action lawsuits pending before Judge Richard Seeborg in federal court.

In addition, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, has certified a class against the remaining defendants in this lawsuit. In a class action, one or more individuals called Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs file suit on behalf of others with similar claims, called “the Class” or “Class Members.” In this matter, purchasers of a new computer with an internal ODD, a stand-alone ODD designed for internal use in a computer, or an ODD designed to be attached externally to a computer allege that certain companies engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to raise, fix, maintain, or stabilize the price of ODDs at artificially high levels in violation of federal and state antitrust laws. Defendants—the parties who were sued—deny these allegations and have asserted defenses to these claims.

The Court has ordered that notice of the class certification be published and provided to potential Class Members, and to inform Class Members of settlements with the Panasonic, NEC, Sony and HLDS defendants. The settlements would resolve the Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs' claims against these defendants. The litigation will continue against the remaining defendants.

This Notice is to inform you of the certification of the Class, the settlements and your rights in the litigation. This Notice is not an expression by the Court of any opinion as to the merits of any of the claims or defenses asserted by either side in this lawsuit.

Read on for more information on your options, including how to claim your payment.

Who is included in the settlements?

Individuals and businesses who, as residents of Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin that, during the period of April 1, 2003 to December 31, 2008, purchased a new computer with an internal ODD, a stand-alone ODD designed for internal use in a computer, or an ODD designed to be attached externally to a computer for their own use and not for resale. ODD refers to a DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, or COMBO drive manufactured by one or more Defendants or their asserted conspirators. Purchases made directly from an ODD manufacturer and the purchases of Panasonic-branded computers are not included.

What do the settlements provide?

The settlements provide for $124.5 million in recovery for class members. Specifically:

  • The Panasonic Settlement provides for a $16.5 million to a settlement fund.
  • The NEC Settlement provides for a $6.5 million settlement fund.
  • The Sony Settlement provides for a $28.5 million settlement fund.
  • The HLDS Settlement provides for a $73 million settlement fund.

If final approval is granted to one, some or all of the settlements, class members who have filed valid and timely claims will receive an electronic payment. The amount of any settlement payment will be based on a class member’s qualifying purchases and the total number of class members.

Who are released?

The four settlements release Panasonic, NEC, Sony, HLDS, Hitachi, Ltd., LG Electronics, Inc., and LG Electronics USA, Inc. from claims made in this litigation.

Your Rights and Options

Get a Payment
File a claim online or by mail by July 1, 2017. The simple online claim form only takes 3-5 minutes for most individuals. Claims may be submitted online at www.OpticalDiskDriveAntitrust.com or by mail to In re ODD Products Indirect Purchaser Litigation, PO Box 43424, Providence, RI 02940-3424.

Exclude Yourself
You can choose to exclude yourself from the Panasonic, NEC, Sony and HLDS Settlements and/or this litigation and keep your right to sue the defendants on your own. If you exclude yourself, you cannot receive any benefits from the current settlements, future settlements or an award after trial. Your written Exclusion Form must set forth your name and a statement that you request exclusion from the class and do not wish to participate in the settlements. You must exclude yourself from each settlement individually (note that you can request exclusion from all settlements, or one settlement in particular) or express your intent to be excluded from the litigation entirely. All requests for exclusion must be postmarked by October 19, 2016 and sent to In re ODD Products Indirect Purchaser Litigation, PO Box 43424, Providence, RI 02940-3424.

Visit the website for detailed information on how to exclude yourself from the settlement.

File an Objection
You can ask the Court to deny approval by filing an objection. Please note that you cannot ask the Court to order a larger settlement; the Court can only approve or deny the settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you must object.

Objections must be in writing and postmarked on or before October 19, 2016. All written objections and supporting papers must (a) clearly identify the case name and number (In Re Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation, Indirect Purchaser Action, Case No. 3:10-MD-2143), (b) be submitted to the Court either by mailing them to the Class Action Clerk, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, or by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and (c) be filed or postmarked on or before October 19, 2016. Visit www.OpticalDiskDriveAntitrust.com for detailed information on how to object to the settlement.

The Panasonic and HLDS settlements require that to the extent permitted by law, any award or payment of attorneys’ fees made to counsel for an objector to the Agreement shall only be made by Court order upon a showing of the benefit conferred to the Class. In determining any such award of attorneys’ fees to an objector’s counsel, the Court will consider the incremental value to the Class caused by any such objection. Any award of attorneys’ fees by the Court will be conditioned on the objector and his or her attorney stating under penalty of perjury that no payment shall be made to the objector based on the objector’s participation in the matter – other than ordered by the Court.

You may also appear at the Final Approval Hearing, described below, either in person or through your own attorney. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for paying that attorney.

Go to a Hearing
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on December 8, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. at the United States District Court, 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA, Courtroom 3 – 17th Floor, to consider whether to approve or deny the Panasonic, NEC, Sony and HLDS settlements and a request for attorneys’ fees up to 25 percent of the Settlement Funds plus costs and expenses. You may appear at the Final Approval Hearing either in person or through your own attorney. The Hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so please check www.OpticalDiskDriveAntitrust.com for any updates and additional information.

Who represents me?

The Court appointed Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP to represent the Settlement Class. You may hire your own attorney, if you wish, at your own expense.

How can I get more information?

This notice summarizes the proposed settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the settlement, please see the settlement agreement available at www.OpticalDiskDriveAntitrust.com, by contacting class counsel at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro (odd@hbsslaw.com), by accessing the Court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov, or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.

For questions about the settlement or the claims process, you may contact the Settlement Administrator at 877-368-9020, via email at info@opticaldiskdriveantitrust.com, or visit www.OpticalDiskDriveAntitrust.com

Please do not telephone the court or the court clerk’s office to inquire about this settlement or the claim process.

Submit Your Claim Online

YOU MUST FILE A CLAIM ONLINE BY JULY 1, 2017.
Please provide your contact information below to start your claim.
(* denotes required field)


Provide the total number of products containing an ODD purchased between April 1, 2003 through December 31, 2008. Ex. if you bought 3 computers, write "3" in the corresponding space. You will receive up to $10/drive. This is an estimate of the settlement amount which could increase or decrease.

ODD Type Number Purchased*
Computers - Laptops or Desktops
Stand-alone ODDs

Terms/Conditions

By clicking SUBMIT on the claim form, you declare, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this Claim Form is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, and that you indeed purchased the Optical Disk Drive Products claimed above between April 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008 for personal or household use and not for resale or distribtion. You understand that your Claim Form may be subject to audit, verification, and Court review

The Settlement Administrator has the right to request verification or more information regarding the claimed purchase(s) of Optical Disk Drive products for purposes of preventing fraud. If the Class Member does not timely comply or is unable to produce documents or information to substantiate the Claim Form and the Claim is otherwise not approved, the Settlement Administrator may disqualify the Claim.

By clicking SUBMIT below, I agree to the Terms/Conditions of this claim.
 

Important Dates

FAQs


BASIC INFORMATION

What are these lawsuits about?

This antitrust class action lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs alleging a conspiracy involving ODD suppliers to fix, maintain, or stabilize the prices of ODDs at artificially high levels in violation of federal and state antitrust laws. ODD refers to a DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, or COMBO drive manufactured by one or more Defendants or their asserted conspirators. The cases are known as In re Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 3:10-MD-2143-RS (MDL 2143). This lawsuit is brought on behalf of individuals and businesses who purchased a new computer with an internal ODD, a stand-alone ODD designed for internal use in a computer, or an ODD designed to be attached externally to a computer as residents of Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin between April 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008 for their own use and not for resale.

Because the class here is end-users who did not resell their products, they are known as “indirect purchasers.” The defendants deny they did anything wrong.

Who brought these lawsuits?

A group of twenty-three class representatives sued on behalf of people who have similar claims. The class representatives are: Mike Bishop, Cindy Booze, Wanda Duryea, Matthew Ence, Benjamin Faber, Barney Gooman, Jr., Matthew Hosking, James Ito-Adler, Chris Johnson, Susie Lim, John McKee, Lisa Melegari, Gail Murphy, Benjamin Murray, Angela Pritchard, Ben Porter, Mike Reilly, Sandra Steffen, Thomas Stenger, Kristina Tecce, Brian Tindall, Anbessa Tufa, and Kimberly Wood. In its order certifying the class, the District Court found that each of these representatives adequately represent the interests of class members.

These class representatives have individually devoted significant amounts of time to this litigation, including reviewing pleadings and legal briefs filed in the action, responding to discovery requests from the defendants and being deposed by the defendants. Each of the class representatives supports the proposed settlements.

Who are the settling defendants?

Plaintiffs have settled with four separate groups of defendants, which include the following companies:

  • Panasonic Corporation and Panasonic Corporation of North America (collectively “Panasonic”);
  • NEC Corporation (“NEC”);
  • Sony Corporation; Sony Optiarc Inc. (formerly known as Sony NEC Optiarc Inc.); and Sony Optiarc America Inc. (formerly known as Sony NEC Optiarc America Inc.) (collectively “Sony”);
  • Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. and Hitachi-LG Data Storage Korea, Inc. (collectively “HLDS”).
Under the terms of the settlement with HLDS, plaintiffs will also release their claims against the following companies: Hitachi, Ltd., LG Electronics, Inc., LG Electronics USA, Inc.

Who are the remaining defendants?

A number of the defendants remain in this case, and the class has been certified to proceed against the remaining defendants. The remaining defendants include: BenQ Corporation, BenQ America Corp., Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., Lite-On IT Corporation, Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions Corp., Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions USA, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Toshiba Corp., Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corp., Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corp. Korea, TEAC America Inc., TEAC Corporation, Quanta Storage America, Inc., Quanta Storage Inc., Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., Pioneer North America, Inc., Pioneer Corporation, and Pioneer High Fidelity Taiwan Co., Ltd.

The settlements with the Panasonic, NEC, Sony and HLDS defendants do not release claims against these remaining defendants. The District Court has set a trial date of February 12, 2018, for the trial of the indirect purchaser plaintiffs against these remaining defendants.

WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SETTLEMENTS AND CERTIFIED CLASS?

How do I know if I am part of the settlements and certified class?

You are included in the settlements and certified class if:

  1. You purchased a new computer with an internal ODD, a stand-alone ODD designed for internal use in a computer, or an ODD designed to be attached externally to a computer for your own use and not for resale;
  2. You made this purchase while a resident of Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin; and
  3. You made this purchase between April 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008.

Notwithstanding foregoing, a computer identified in Section 1 does not include a Panasonic-branded computer (because such computers are not part of the litigation or any of the settlements) and purchases of ODDs identified in Section 1 do not include purchases made directly from an ODD manufacturer.

You do not need to have a proof-of-purchase or retain the item to participate in the settlements.

THE SETTLEMENTS’ BENEFITS

What do the settlements provide?

The settlements provide for $124.5 million in recovery for class members. Specifically:

  • The Panasonic Settlement provides for a $16.5 million to a settlement fund.
  • The NEC Settlement provides for a $6.5 million settlement fund.
  • The Sony Settlement provides for a $28.5 million settlement fund.
  • The HLDS Settlement provides for a $73 million settlement fund.

If final approval is granted to one, some or all of the settlements, class members who have filed valid and timely claims will receive an electronic payment. The amount of any settlement payment will be based on a class member’s qualifying purchases and the total number of class members.

How much will my payment be?

Until the District Court gives final approval to the settlement, including any and all appeals, no payments will be made. If the settlement approval orders become final, the settling defendants are required to pay $124.5 million to compensate class members. Because other defendants remain in this litigation, the plaintiffs are proposing that distribution of the settlement funds not occur at this time. This is to save the expenses associated with distribution. Plaintiffs will present a distribution plan to the District Court in the future. If the Court approves the Plan of Distribution, it will be posted on this website.

What do I have to do to get my payment?

File a claim online or by mail by July 1, 2017. The simple online claim form only takes 3-5 minutes for most individuals. Claims may be submitted by mail to In re ODD Products Indirect Purchaser Litigation, P.O. Box 43424, Providence, RI 02940-3424. We highly recommend that you submit the claim online to receive expedited service on July 1, 2017 or soon thereafter.

After July 1, 2017, an email will be sent to your account on file with instructions on how to electronically receive your payment via PayPal, Google Wallet, Amazon Balance, and others.

Plaintiffs have also collected direct contact information for class members and anticipate making reasonable attempts to distribute monies to class members where an address is available. This method is not guaranteed, however, and to ensure payment class members should submit a claims form.

How do I exclude myself from the settlements?

You can choose to exclude yourself from the Panasonic, NEC, Sony and HLDS Settlements and keep your right to sue the defendants on your own. If you exclude yourself, you cannot receive any benefits from the settlements. Your written Exclusion Form must set forth your name and a statement that you request exclusion from the class and do not wish to participate in the settlement. You must exclude yourself from each settlement individually (note that you request exclusion from all settlements, or one settlement in particular). All requests for exclusion must be postmarked by October 19, 2016 and sent to In re ODD Products Indirect Purchaser Litigation, PO Box 43424, Providence, RI 02940-3424.

How do I exclude myself from this litigation?

You can choose to exclude yourself from this litigation altogether and keep your right to sue the defendants on your own. If you exclude yourself, you cannot receive any benefits from this litigation going forward. Your written Exclusion Form must set forth your name and a statement that you request exclusion from the litigation entirely. All requests for exclusion must be postmarked by October 19, 2016 and sent to In re ODD Products Indirect Purchaser Litigation, PO Box 43424, Providence, RI 02940-3424.

If I exclude myself, can I still get benefits from the settlements and the litigation?

No. If you exclude yourself from the settlements and the litigation, you will not receive any benefits.

If I exclude myself, can I sue the defendants separately?

If you exclude yourself from the settlements and/or the litigation, you may be able to sue the defendants about the issues related to this case. If you do not exclude yourself, you give up your right to sue the defendants about the issues related to this case.

OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT

How do I object?

You can ask the Court to deny approval by filing an objection. Please note that you cannot ask the Court to order a larger settlement; the Court can only approve or deny the settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you must object.

Objections must be in writing and postmarked on or before October 19, 2016. All written objections and supporting papers must (a) clearly identify the case name and number (In Re Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation, Indirect Purchaser Action, Case No. 3:10-MD-2143), (b) be submitted to the Court either by mailing them to the Class Action Clerk, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, or by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and (c) be filed or postmarked on or before October 19, 2016.

What is the difference between objecting and excluding myself?

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the settlements. You can object to the settlements only if you do not exclude yourself. Excluding yourself from the settlements is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the settlements. If you exclude yourself from the settlements, you have no basis to object to the settlements because they no longer affect you.

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlements?

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on December 8, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. at the United States District Court, 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA, Courtroom 3 – 17th Floor, to consider whether to approve or deny the Panasonic, NEC, Sony and HLDS Settlements and a request for attorneys’ fees up to 25 percent of the Settlement Funds. You may appear at the Final Approval Hearing either in person or through your own attorney.

The Hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so please check www.OpticalDiskDriveAntitrust.com for any updates and additional information.

Do I have to come to the hearing?

No. The Court appointed Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP to represent the Settlement Class.

May I speak at the hearing?

Yes. You may appear at the hearing, or you may hire your own attorney, if you wish, at your own expense.

What happens if I do nothing at all?

If the Court gives final approval to the settlements, you might not receive your payment automatically. You should make a claim either by mail or online to ensure payment from these settlements.

How Do I Get More Information?

This website summarizes the proposed settlements. More details are in the settlement agreements, available here. Many of the important documents in the case are also available here, including the operative complaint, the District Court’s order certifying the class. Plaintiffs will add additional case documents to this website as the litigation proceeds.

You may also contact class counsel at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro (odd@hbsslaw.com), or access the Court’s docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov, or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.

For questions about the settlement or the claims process, you may contact the Settlement Administrator at 877-368-9020.

PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT OR THE CLAIM PROCESS.

What happens to any funds remaining after distribution to the class?

Plaintiffs will make their best efforts to distribute funds received through the settlements to the class. If there are remaining funds after all practical efforts have been made to distribute to class members, these funds will escheat to either the state or federal government.

Why is my state not included?

If your state is not listed, it may be because it does not provide standing for indirect purchasers of price-fixed goods, or has a state law that differs materially from the federal antitrust laws, whereby the Court declined to include residents of that state in the class.

How do I update my submission (email, name, or ODD quantity)?

Please submit another claim with the correct updated details and inform us that you have done so via email to info@opticaldiskdriveantitrust.com.

There is an issue with the claim form, how do I fix it?

Some OS/Browser combinations may not be supported. Please try to submit a claim on a different OS/Browser combination. If no combinations work, please submit a screenshot of the issue along with your OS and Browser info via email to info@opticaldiskdriveantitrust.com.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding this Settlement, you may contact the Optical Disk Drive Products Settlement Administrator. Please ensure that you include your name and your return address on all correspondence.


Call Us:
877-368-9020
Write Us:
In re ODD Products Indirect Purchaser Litigation
P.O. Box 43424
Providence, RI 02940-3424