Optical Disk Drive Antitrust Litigation
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Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below answers to frequently asked questions
  1. What is this Lawsuit About?
  2. Why is there a Settlement but the litigation is continuing?
  3. How do I know if I'm part of the Settlement Class?
  4. What does the Settlement provide?
  5. When can I get a payment?
  6. What are my rights in the Settlement Class?
  7. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?
  8. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
  9. Do I have to attend the hearing?
  10. May I speak at the hearing?
  11. Do I have a lawyer in the case?
  12. How will the lawyers be paid?
  1. What is this Lawsuit About?

    The lawsuit alleges that Defendants and co-conspirators conspired to raise and fix the prices of ODDs for six years, resulting in overcharges to direct purchasers of those ODDs and certain products containing ODDs. The complaint describes how the Defendants and co-conspirators allegedly violated the U.S. antitrust laws by establishing a global cartel that set artificially high prices for, and restricted the supply of ODDs. Defendants deny Plaintiffs allegations. The Court has not decided who is right.

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  2. Why is there a Settlement but the litigation is continuing?

    Only one of the Defendants has agreed to settle the lawsuit at this time NEC Corporation ("NEC" or "Settling Defendant"). The Court has previously approved settlements with (1) Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc., Hitachi-LG Data Storage Korea, Inc., LG Electronics, Inc., LG Electronics USA, and Hitachi, Ltd. and (2) Panasonic Corporation and Panasonic Corporation of North America (collectively, "Settled Defendants"). The remaining non-settling and non-settled defendants are referred to as "Non-Settling Defendants." Additional money may become available in the future as a result of a trial or future settlements, but there is no guarantee that this will happen.

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  3. How do I know if I'm part of the Settlement Class?

    The settlement class includes persons and entities who, between January 1, 2004 and January 1, 2010, directly purchased an ODD in the United States from any Defendant or subsidiary or affiliate thereof, or any co-conspirator ("Settlement Class"). As used herein the term "ODD" includes (a) a drive sold by a Defendant or its subsidiary or affiliate as a separate unit that is to be inserted into, or incorporated in, an electronic device; (b) a drive sold by a Defendant or its subsidiary or affiliate as a separate unit that is to be attached to an electronic device through an external interface such as a Universal Serial Bus connection; and (c) an internal drive sold as a component of a laptop or desktop computer by a Defendant or its subsidiary or affiliate.

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  4. What does the Settlement provide?

    The Settlement with NEC provides for payment of $6,000,000 in cash, plus interest (plus up to an additional $150,000 toward notice costs). The Settlement also provides for the production of witnesses. In addition, NEC sales remain in the case for the purpose of computing damages against the remaining Non-Settling Defendants. Finally, the Settlement provides that $750,000 of the $6,000,000 Settlement Fund, subject to Court approval, may be used to pay expenses incurred in the litigation for prosecution of the action on behalf of the Settlement Class against Non-Settling Defendants.

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  5. When can I get a payment?

    No money will be distributed to any Settlement Class member yet. The lawyers will pursue the lawsuit against the Non-Settling Defendants to see if any future settlements or judgments can be obtained in the case and then be distributed together, to reduce expenses.

    Any future distribution of the Settlement Funds will be allocated on a pro rata basis. You will be notified in the future when and where to send a claim form. DO NOT SEND ANY CLAIMS NOW.

    In the future, the Settlement Funds will be allocated on a pro rata basis based on the dollar value of each class member's purchase(s) of either ODDs in proportion to the total claims filed. In determining the pro rata allocation of Settlement Funds, purchases of stand-alone ODDs will be valued at 100% of their purchase price. For purchases of electronic devices containing an ODD (desktop computers or laptop computers), the pro rata calculation will factor in the proportionate value of the ODD contained in the product. The resulting percentages will be multiplied by the net Settlement Fund (total settlements minus all costs, attorneys' fees, and expenses) to determine each claimant's pro rata share of the Settlement Fund.

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  6. What are my rights in the Settlement Class?

    Remain in the Settlement Class: If you wish to remain a member of the Settlement Class you do not need to take any action at this time.

    Get out of the Settlement Class:
    If you wish to keep any of your rights to sue NEC about claims concerning the manufacture, supply, distribution, sale or pricing of ODDs, other than claims for product liability, personal injury or breach of contract claims not related to the allegations in this case, you must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class. You will not get any money from the Settlement if you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class.

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must send a letter that includes the following:

    Your name, address and telephone number;

    A statement saying that you want to be excluded from In re Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2143, NEC Settlement; and

    Your signature.

    You must mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than June 23, 2014, to:

    ODD Claims Administrator
    c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC
    P.O. Box 6002
    Larkspur, CA 94977-6002

    Remain in the Settlement Class and Object:
    If you have comments about, or disagree with, any aspect of the Settlement, you may express your views to the Court by writing to the address below. The written response needs to include your name, address, telephone number, the case name and number (In re Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2143), a brief explanation of your reasons for objecting, and your signature. The response must be postmarked no later than June 23, 2014 and mailed to:

    COURT

    Honorable Richard Seeborg
    United States District Court Northern District of California
    San Francisco Division
    450 Golden Gate Avenue
    Courtroom 3, 17th floor
    San Francisco, CA 94102

    INTERIM LEAD COUNSEL

    Guido Saveri
    R. Alexander Saveri
    SAVERI & SAVERI, INC.
    706 Sansome Street
    San Francisco, CA 94111

    COUNSEL FOR NEC

    Robert B. Pringle
    WINSTON & STRAWN LLP
    101 California St., Suite 3900
    San Francisco, CA 94111

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  7. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

    Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you can't sue Panasonic, or be part of any other lawsuit against Panasonic, about the legal issues in this case. It also means that all of the decisions by the Court will bind you. The "Release of Claims" includes any causes of actions asserted or that could have been asserted in the lawsuit, as described more fully in the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement can be found here.

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  8. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 3:00 p.m. on August 14, 2014, at United States District Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, Courtroom 3, 17th floor, San Francisco, California, 94102. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the Settlement Class website for information. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. If there are objections or comments, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.

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  9. Do I have to attend the hearing?

    No. Interim Lead Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection or comment, you don't have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay another lawyer to attend, but it's not required.

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  10. May I speak at the hearing?

    If you want your own lawyer instead of Interim Lead Counsel to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you must give the Court a paper that is called a "Notice of Appearance." The Notice of Appearance should include the name and number of the lawsuit (In re Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2143), and state that you wish to enter an appearance at the Fairness Hearing. It also must include your name, address, telephone number, and signature. Your "Notice of Appearance" must be postmarked no later than June 23, 2014. You cannot speak at the Hearing if you previously asked to be excluded from the Settlement.

    The Notice of Appearance must be sent to the addresses listed in Question 6.

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  11. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    Yes. The Court has appointed the law firm of Saveri & Saveri, Inc. to represent you as "Interim Lead Counsel." You do not have to pay Interim Lead Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, and have that lawyer appear in court for you in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  12. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel are not asking for attorneys' fees at this time. At a future time, Interim Lead Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys' fees not to exceed one-third (33.3%) of this or any future Settlement Fund plus reimbursement of their costs and expenses, in accordance with the provisions of the Settlement Agreement. Interim Lead Counsel may also request that an amount be paid to each of the Class Representatives who helped the lawyers on behalf of the whole Class.

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