Deadline approaching for consumers in DVD/Blu-ray price fixing lawsuit
In this landmark case filed in the U.S. District Court in California in April, 2010, consumers accuse the tech industry of allegedly conspiring to manipulate prices of optical disc drives (ODD) found in most computers, entertainment systems and gaming consoles in the United States.
"These machines are found in nearly every home, office and school," says Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. "And tech companies have bullied us into overpaying for this equipment, knowing that we depend on this technology each and every day."
Hagens Berman is interested in receiving additional information that will help protect consumers' interests in the civil suit against the tech industry. Owners of these popular devices are encouraged to join the civil case before August 5, 2010. A criminal investigation by the Department of Justice is also under way.
Attorneys from Hagens Berman were recently appointed interim class counsel in the civil suit against tech giants including Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Hitachi, LG Technology and Philips. Berman and fellow attorney, Jeff Friedman, believe hardware manufacturers of disc drives and CD/DVD players conducted anti-competitive business practices to create artificially high prices for products featuring these components and eliminated new market competitors.
"We intend to prove this high-tech cartel ends up costing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars a year," Berman continued. "Our system is predicated upon the use of fair and open competition to drive innovation and keep prices in line for consumers."
The ODD market has dramatically increased over the last two decades and is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. ODD products can copy or play digital entertainment content via a CD or DVD, and are usually included in a range of products, from laptops or desktop computers to gaming consoles and DVD players.
In recent years, many of the world's leading makers of ODD products came together through joint ventures and long standing business relationships to allegedly set high market barriers and fix prices on CD and DVD products, the lawsuit states. The lawsuit also states that the Department of Justice is currently investigating the technology industry for anti-competitive conduct and price-fixing of ODD products.
Attorneys with Hagens Berman believe these business practices created an anti-competitive marketplace by giving ODD industry leaders an uninterrupted opportunity to collaboratively discuss pricing, capacity utilization and other prospective market information.
The strong collaboration between ODD industry leaders caused potential and emerging competitors to refrain from entering the ODD market, the lawsuit states. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that consumers were forced to pay inflated prices for ODD products.
Hagens Berman is representing consumers in the class-action lawsuit against big tech companies that make optical disc drives. If you purchased a laptop, desktop computer, gaming console or entertainment player that features an optical disc drive after November 1, 2005, you are encouraged to join this case at /cases/optical-disc-drives-odd---all-devices-with-cd-or-dvd-players.
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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in ten cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.