BFA Files First Case Concerning Price Fixing of InductorsJanuary 10, 2018
Bleichmar Fonti & Auld filed the first class action complaint in the United States on behalf of Dependable Component Supply Corp., a direct purchaser of inductors. The complaint names as defendants leading Japanese manufactures such as Panasonic and alleges a price-fixing conspiracy concerning discrete inductors between at least January 2003 and continuing until as late as 2015 or 2016.
Discrete inductors – passive electronic components fixed to a circuit board that store and regulate energy in a circuit using electromagnetism – are one of the most common elements in electronic circuits, and thus are ubiquitous in thousands of products that rely on electronic circuits for power, such as laptops, desktops, televisions, and many others.
Inductors are as common in electronics as capacitors and resistors, both of which are also at the center of alleged price-fixing litigations. “The same global economic forces that shaped the capacitor and resistors market — and caused Japanese manufacturers to collude — drove defendants to conspire with respect to the prices of Inductors,” according to the complaint.
Dependable alleges that “Defendants formed a cartel to stabilize prices of inductors as a reaction to a series of shocks to the market for inductors that began in the late 1990s resulting from increased competition from Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers.” Inductor prices “remained stubbornly high” even following the 2001 recession, “because defendants exchanged competitively sensitive information, such as price and anticipated volume of sales, with their competitors and reached agreements to maintain artificially high prices.”
Dependable is represented by BFA’s Lesley Weaver, Matthew Weiler, and Emily Aldridge. "We believe that this type of cartel activity is anathema to fair markets and we intend to pursue our client’s claims, and the class’s claims, vigorously,” said Lesley Weaver of Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP, counsel for Dependable.
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