As of October 26, 2018, Direct Purchasers have settled or settled in principle with all but one of the families of Defendants, some of the world’s largest manufacturers of linear resistors, related to allegations that they conspired to eliminate price competition for linear resistors, which impacted prices for linear resistors sold in the US.

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

Case Background

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 also to include claims against resistors supplier Walsin Technology Corporation and its domestic subsidiary.  CMST has 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

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.  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 2003 through December 2015. 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.

The case name is: In re Resistors Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 5:15-cv-03820; U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.