If you are one of those people, who can’t even bear the thought of throwing out their Intel Pentium 3, or at least its receipts; your junk keeping tendencies may have earned you $10.
In December 2016, Sony, NEC, Panasonic and Hitachi-LG got the result for their seven years long class-action lawsuit, where these giants were accused of unfairly inflating the prices of optical drives. These over-prices drives were sold to computer companies and retailers. It was revealed that when computer companies like HP and Dell placed orders for the optical DVD drives, these “competing” drive manufacturers pre-set their bids through sharing information about pricing with each other. The US Department of Justice investigated the issue, and according to media reports, at least one Hitachi-LG executive was sent to six months in prison after he pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.
So here’s the part that would benefit you. If you bought a computer having a DVD drive or even a standalone DVD drive between April 1, 2003, and December 31, 2008; you are entitled to receive $10 for each one as a result of the settlement (Hurray!)
You have to submit your claim here or send it via mail before July 1, 2017.
It is to be noted here that although Panasonic DVD drives are covered, yet, the Panasonic’s computers are not eligible. Also, to be eligible for the $10 refund, you must be 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
These states are mentioned on the website, to receive the compensation while the rest of the US is out of the deal.
The settlement form, for now, doesn’t require any proof of the ownership of the drives, but the terms and condition page does state this,
“The Settlement Administrator has the right to request verification or more information regarding the claimed purchase(s) of Optical Disk Drive products for purposes of preventing fraud.”
In simple terms, they will probably ask for some receipt or proof of purchase for the repayment.
Sony, Hitachi-LG, NEC and Panasonic have collectively contributed around $124.5 million to the settlement, with the lawyers expected to take about a quarter of this for their troubles. This leaves around $93 million to compensate for some 9.3 million optical drives, which gives the figure of $10 per DVD drive.
Moreover, you shouldn’t expect to get the money anytime soon, as the lawyers are looking to make other optical drive makers settle.
“Because other defendants remain in this litigation, the plaintiffs are proposing that distribution of the settlement funds not occur at this time,” reads the settlement website.
You can view the full report here.
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