Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP Appointed Co-Lead Counsel in Inductors Antitrust LitigationApril 30, 2018
On April 27, 2018, Judge Davila of the United States District Court of the Northern District of California appointed Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP ("BFA") co-lead counsel with Hausfeld LLP in In re Inductors Antitrust Litigation, finding "the efforts expended by BFA and Hausfeld to promptly identify and investigate the claims, coupled with the extensive amount of resources which they have available to expend on this case, renders them superior to represent the putative class."
The complaint alleges that the Defendants, leading Japanese manufacturers of inductors such as Murata and Panasonic Corp., colluded to fix, inflate, or stabilize the price of inductors from at least 2003 until the summer of 2014, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Inductors are electronic components that, along with other components like conductors and resistors, work to regulate and store energy in a circuit. These components are found in thousands of products that rely on electronic circuits for power, such as computers, cars, and televisions. Together the Defendant Manufacturers comprised over 80% of the market at the beginning of 2003, and still controlled two-thirds of the market as of 2016. Despite changing economic conditions throughout the Class Period, including a major economic recession, lowered demand for inductors, and increased manufacturing capacity, the price for inductors remained consistently high.
The complaint alleges that Defendants achieved this artificially high price of inductors by exchanging "competitively sensitive information, such as price and anticipated volume of sales, with their competitors." Based on this historic collusion to raise prices, plaintiffs now seek damages and injunctive relief on behalf of the proposed class.
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