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Disk Drive Conspirators Will Pay $37 Million

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Seven disk drive sellers will pay $37 million to settle claims they conspired to fix the prices of optical disk drives from 2004 to 2009.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg granted preliminary approval Tuesday to a settlement for direct buyers of those drives.

The multidistrict litigation stretches back to 2010, when several buyers, including Gateway and Acer, sued multiple companies for conspiring to fix prices in the multibillion-dollar optical disk drive market.

The $37-million settlement package includes $15 million from Koninklijke Philips; $9.2 million from Samsung; $6 million from Sony; $4.2 million from 4 Pioneer; $1.32 million from TEAC; $875,000 from BenQ; and $400,000 from Quanta Storage.

Class members entitled to receive a portion of the $37 million settlement include any person or entity that bought at least one disk drive from the companies from Jan. 1, 2004 to Jan. 1, 2010.

Any class member who wants to object to or opt out of the settlement must notify the court by Feb. 22, 2016. A fairness hearing for final approval is set for April 14, 2016.

The direct buyer plaintiffs are represented by Alexander Saveri in San Francisco.

Earlier this year , Seeborg awarded $13 million in attorneys' fees for disk drive buyers, who secured another $37.9-million settlement from three other companies: Panasonic, Hitachi-LG and NEC.

In October, the European Commission fined five disk drive suppliers - including Hitachi-LG, Toshiba Samsung and Sony - a combined $127 million for their role in the conspiracy.

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