1. A proposed class action was commenced in Ontario in 2005 against a group of manufacturers and distributors of Dynamic Random Access Memory (“DRAM”). A second proposed class action was commenced in Ontario in 2010 against a further group of manufacturers and distributors of DRAM.
2. The actions allege that the defendants conspired to fix the price at which DRAM was sold in Canada and worldwide during the period April 1, 1999 to June 30, 2002.
3. DRAM is the most commonly used semiconductor memory product, providing high-speed storage and retrieval of electronic information for a wide variety of computer, telecommunications and consumer electronics products. The defendants were the primary manufacturers and distributors of DRAM for supply to consumers and to original equipment manufacturers of a wide variety of products including personal computers, laptop computers, workstation computers and servers.
4. The law firms of Sutts, Strosberg LLP and Harrison Pensa LLP are prosecuting the Ontario actions together. Companion class actions are being prosecuted in British Columbia and Québec. Counsel in the three jurisdictions are working co-operatively to prosecute the actions nationally with British Columbia and Québec taking the lead.
5. The plaintiffs in the actions across Canada have reached national settlements with seven sets of defendants which have been approved by the courts in the three jurisdictions. The settling defendants did not admit liability but they agreed to pay in total $67.275 million for the benefit of the settlement class members and to provide co-operation to the plaintiffs in prosecuting the actions against the non-settling defendants.
6. A full definition of class members may be found in the FAQ section of this website. The deadline set by the Courts for persons not wishing to participate in the class actions expired June 2, 2012, before the first settlement approval.
7. The net settlement funds from the seven settlements are being held in trust for the benefit of class members pending approval by the Courts of a Distribution Protocol.
ADDITIONAL PROPOSED SETTLEMENTS
8. The plaintiffs in the actions across Canada have now reached additional proposed national settlements with four sets of defendants. The settling defendants did not admit liability but they agreed to pay in total $12.195 million for the benefit of the settlement class members and to provide co-operation to the plaintiffs in prosecuting the actions against the one remaining set of non-settling defendants.
9. The Courts in the three jurisdictions have certified/authorized the actions as class actions against the settling defendants for settlement purposes only.
10. The Courts will be asked to approve the settlement agreements with these groups of defendants at hearings likely to be held in September, 2014. Advance notice of the settlement approval hearing dates before the Courts will be provided in various media and on this website.
11. The plaintiffs and Class Counsel have been engaged in developing a Distribution Protocol and a claims process for some time now. For the purposes of constructing the proposed Distribution Protocol, Sutts Strosberg represents the interests of the indirect purchasers who are not end users, Harrison Pensa represents direct purchasers who are not end users, and Belleau Lapointe represents end users of DRAM and DRAM products.
12. The Honourable Ian Binnie, a retired justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and Dr. Thomas Ross, a senior economist with the Sauder School of Business, were retained to provide independent advice and findings for the Courts about how to distribute the funds among class members.
13. At a hearing held in Toronto on May 12, 2014, the parties recommended a Distribution Protocol to Mr. Binnie. A copy of the proposed Distribution Protocol may be reviewed here (English) (French). Dr. Ross also provided Mr. Binnie with his opinions concerning the proposed Distribution Protocol in his second report available here.
14. Mr. Binnie has advised that it is his opinion that the proposed Distribution Plan is fair, reasonable and adequate and consistent with the prior case law. He will release his written report to the Courts shortly.
15. The Courts will be asked to approve the Distribution Protocol and claims process at hearings likely to be held in September, 2014 in the three jurisdictions. Advance notice of the distribution approval hearing dates before the Courts will be provided in various media and on this website.
16. Class members will be required at a later time to file a claim for payment in a claims process. Class members who have proof of purchase of DRAM and DRAM products purchased during the period April 1, 1999 to June 30, 2002 should retain those proofs of purchase. Class Counsel recognize that not all class members will have proofs of purchase and have addressed the claims process and methods of proof of a claim with this in mind.
17. Monitor this website periodically for updates on the class actions, the future distribution approval hearings and future claims process.
18. The actions are continuing against the one remaining set of non-settling defendants.
19. For more information, you may review the settlement agreements and other documents in the Documents section of this site, as well as the Frequently Asked Questions section. Pour de plus amples information en français, vous pouvez consulter le site internet: www.recourscollectif.info/fr/dossiers/dram/.
20. If you would like to speak to someone at Sutts, Strosberg LLP about these class actions, please use our toll free line 1.800.229.5323, extension 8296.
21. If you would like to know more about how a class action works, click here.