Samsung Group has agreed to pay $33 million to settle a class action lawsuit that alleged the company was involved in a global price-fixing scheme. Although several co-defendants have already agreed to settlements, Samsung’s will provide the largest payout in the cathode ray tube multidistrict litigation (MDL).
On Monday, attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a motion seeking class certification and preliminary approval of the Samsung CRT price-fixing settlement. According to the motion, the Samsung CRT price-fixing settlement is “larger than previous settlements, and represents an outstanding recovery for the class.”
Target Corp., Best Buy Co. Inc. and other retailers, together with consumers who bought products containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs), began filing class action lawsuits in 2007, accusing a number of electronics makers of violating the Sherman Act by conspiring to fix the prices of CRTs from 1995 through 2007. In 2008, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the CRT lawsuits into the MDL known as In re: Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Antitrust Litigation. Samsung is the last of the co-defendants to agree to a settlement.
The other co-defendants have already settled their portions of the CRT price-fixing MDL. In 2012, the court gave final approval to settlements reached by Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd., Philips Electronics North America Corp. and Panasonic Corp. In 2013, the court granted final approval to settlements reached by LG Electronics Inc. and Toshiba Corp. In January 2014, the court preliminarily approved a settlement reached by Hitachi Ltd. LG’s $25 million class action settlement agreement involved the largest payout of all of the previous settlements.
The proposed Samsung CRT price-fixing settlement seeks the certification of a class of direct purchasers of CRTs and/or CRT products from Samsung and their alleged co-conspirators from March 1, 1995 through Nov. 27, 2007. “This Settlement Class is identical to the classes already certified by the Court in connection with the preliminary and final approval of the CPT, Philips, Panasonic, LG, and Toshiba settlements, and provisionally approved with regard to the Hitachi settlement,” the plaintiffs say in their motion.
This class action settlement only applies to purchasers who purchased the CRT products directly from the manufacturers. Consumers who purchased televisions with CRTs from retail stores have also filed a class action lawsuit over CRT price-fixing claims. The class was certified in September 2013, but the litigation is still pending. For more information about the indirect purchasers class action lawsuit, click here.
A hearing for the preliminary approval of the Samsung CRT price-fixing settlement has been scheduled for April 18, 2014.
The direct purchasers are represented by Guido Saveri, R. Alexander Saveri, Geoffrey C. Rushing and Travis L Manfredi of Saveri & Saveri Inc.
The CRT Price-Fixing Class Action Lawsuit is In re: Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 3:07-cv-05944, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
UPDATE: Samsung, Philips, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Hitachi have agreed to pay a total of $563 million to indirect purchasers under the terms of a proposed class action settlement, according to court documents filed May 29, 2015 in California federal court.
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