Residents of several stated in the United States who purchased an internal or external optical drive, or a computer with such a drive, are eligible for benefits from settlements reached in antitrust litigation currently pending in federal court. The benefits are expected to be around $10 per drive.
The optical drives have to be purchased between April 1st 2003 and December 31st 2008 and have to be manufactured by either Panasonic, NEC, Sony NEC OptiArc, Hitachi LG Data Storage (HLDS). Claimants also have to be a resident of any of the 23 listed states (and the District of Columbia).
The class-action lawsuit took more than seven years before reaching a settlement and was about optical disk drive manufacturers sharing bids among themselves when they were selling products to retailers and computer builders like Dell and HP. This kept prices artificially high and violates antitrust laws.
Most involved optical drive manufacturers denied involvement but several companies agreed to settle. They have agreed to pay $124.5 million which is currently expected to be around $10 per sold drive.
In case you meet all requirements then a claim can me made by simply filling in a form on the opticaldiskdriveantitrust.com website before the 1st of July 2017. Interestingly no proof of purchase is currently required, but in case the administrator of the claims suspects fraud, they might change that requirement.
Unfortunately the money doesn’t come soon, lawyers involved the class-action lawsuit are waiting to see if other optical drive manufacturers will be joining the settlement. This delays the payout but should have the benefit that payouts will be higher.
The settlement hearing is currently scheduled for December this year and payments will only begin after that, but it might take even longer if other manufacturers join the settlement.