Cases & Investigations

Capacitors Antitrust Lawsuit

PRACTICE AREAS: Antitrust
PRODUCT: Aluminum and tantalum electrolytic capacitors and film capacitors
CASE STATUS: Pending

Berger Montague is counsel to a proposed class of direct purchasers of aluminum and tantalum electrolytic capacitors and film capacitors.

Capacitors are a fundamental component of electrical circuits that store electric charge and, as such, are ubiquitous in electronic devices.  This class action alleges that the major capacitor manufacturers, including Panasonic Corporation, SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., NEC TOKIN Corporation, KEMET Corporation, Nippon Chemi-Con Corporation, United Chemi-Con, Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Nichicon Corporation, AVX Corporation, Rubycon Corporation, ELNA Co., Ltd., Matsuo Electric Co., Ltd., TOSHIN KOGYO Co., Ltd., Holy Stone Enterprise Co., Ltd., Vishay Polytech Co., Ltd., ROHM Co., Ltd., Okaya Electric Industries Co., Ltd., Taitsu Corporation, Shinyei Kaisha, Nitsuko Electronics Corporation, Nissei Electric Co., Ltd., Soshin Electric Co., Ltd., and Shizuki Electric Co., Ltd., conspired to raise capacitor prices.  A criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into potential antitrust violations in the capacitors industry is ongoing.  To date, eight defendants—ELNA, Hitachi, Holy Stone, Matsuo, NEC Tokin, Nichicon, Rubycon, and Nippon Chemi-Con—have pled guilty and agreed to pay over $140 million in criminal fines.

On May 26, 2015, and December 30, 2015, the district court entered orders denying almost all of the defendants’ motions to dismiss.  On June 15, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, and on September 7, 2017, a hearing was held. Discovery is proceeding.

On June 27, 2017, the district court issued an order granting final approval of settlements totaling $32.6 million with Defendants Fujitsu, NEC Tokin, Nitsuko, Okaya, and Rohm. On June 28, 2018, the district court granted final approval of settlements totaling $66.9 million with Defendants Hitachi and Soshin.

LEAD ATTORNEYS: Eric L. Cramer, Ruthanne Gordon

Lead Attorneys

Eric L. Cramer Headshot

Eric L. Cramer

Managing Shareholder
Ruthanne Gordon Headshot

Ruthanne Gordon

Shareholder

Associates

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