Past Cases

In re Resistors Antitrust Litigation

Status Past Case

Practice area Antitrust

Court U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Case number 5:15-cv-03820


On November 21, 2019, the U.S. District Court for Northern California granted final approval of a $50.25 million settlement, following several years of hard-fought litigation. This settlement is significant in that it reflects between 33% – 57% of estimated single damages according to Plaintiffs’ preliminary analysis. Estimated payments to class members would result in an average payment of $46,850.64 and a median payment of $768.39.

On December 21, 2015, Cohen Milstein was appointed interim co-lead counsel for the proposed class of direct purchasers of resistors.

Case Background

Resistors are small electrical components that are used to create an electrical circuit. Electronic devices including cars, computers, and cell phones require resistors to function.

On August 20, 2015 Cohen Milstein filed this class action lawsuit on behalf of Schuten Electronics, Inc. and all other similarly situated purchasers, alleging that some of the world’s largest manufacturers of linear resistors – including Panasonic Corporation, KOA Corporation, ROHM Co., Ltd., Hokuriku Electric Industry Co., Kamaya Electric Co., Ltd. as well as several of their domestic subsidiaries – conspired to eliminate price competition for linear resistors which stabilized, or slowed the decrease of, prices for linear resistors sold in the US. Plaintiffs subsequently amended their lawsuit to include claims against resistors supplier Walsin Technology Corporation and its domestic subsidiary. Cohen Milstein obtained evidence that Defendants met privately and exchanged pricing information, including pricing for specific customers, with the intended purpose of establishing a Japanese “alliance” to maintain and raise the prices of linear resistors.

As a result of the alleged conspiracy, direct purchasers of resistors – such as electronics manufacturers or electronic component distributors – may have paid artificially-inflated prices.

On September 5, 2017, Judge Donato denied in part Defendants’ motions to dismiss, holding that Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs had plausibly alleged Defendants’ participation in a conspiracy to fix the prices of linear resistors spanning from July 9, 2003 through August 1, 2014. The Court granted Direct Purchasers leave to amend the Complaint to provide additional allegations of Defendants’ domestic subsidiaries’ liability. The Court subsequently denied from the bench the Defendants’ renewed motion to dismiss the Direct Purchasers’ claims against the domestic subsidiaries.