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US Class Action Concerning Optical Disc Drive Products Antitrust Litigation

For class members to ensure payment
This is a Press Release edited by StorageNewsletter.com on 2017.02.16

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From Optical Disk Drive Antitrust

Concerning United States District Court, Northern District of California, case No. 3:10-MD-2143-RS (MDL 2143).

OPTICAL_DISK_DRIVE_ANTITRUST_important_dates"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 this website 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 the website 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 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 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 the website, by contacting class counsel at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro (e-mail), by accessing the Court docket in this case through the court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at this link, 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, or visit the website.

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