DRAM manufacturers hit w/ class action suit over alleged price fixing, could lead to payout for Apple customers

Samsung and other DRAM manufacturers have been hit with a new class action lawsuit alleging a price fixing scheme was used to increase margins. According to law firm Hagens Berman, Samsung, Micron, and Hynix are being accused of conspiring to artificially limit the supply of DRAM chips to increase prices…

The class action suit, according to law firm Hagens Berman, applies to anyone who purchased an electronic device that uses DRAM between 2016 and 2017. That includes Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

The firm explains that Samsung, Micron, and Hynix devised to limit the supply of DRAM in order to drive up prices of the component and thus make device manufacturers pay more. Subsequently, higher prices for manufacturers equates to higher retail prices for consumers.

The investigation involves Micron, Samsung and Hynix, and points to a scheme between the manufacturers. According to attorneys, the DRAM manufacturers agreed to limit the supply of DRAM, a critical component of phones and computers – therefore driving up prices for this widely used memory. If true, this resulted in an illegal price-fixing scheme that led to consumers overpaying for electronics.

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement to consumers for the higher prices they paid for their devices. In 2006, Hagens Berman won a similar lawsuit against DRAM manufacturers, forcing them to pay out $300 million to consumers who had paid artificially high prices for their devices.

Leading up to the release of the iPhone 8, there was a widely reported shortage of DRAM, with some manufacturers struggling to obtain needed supply for devices. Should this lawsuit turn out to be true, it now appears that at least some of that shortage was artificially created. Apple relies heavily on supplier Micron for its DRAM supply.

For more information on the case, including signing up to be included, head to the Hagens Berman website.

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