About the Case

The Joseph Saveri Law Firm is sole Lead Counsel in a class action lawsuit originally filed in July 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of direct purchasers of aluminum, tantalum, and film capacitors from nearly two dozen electronic component manufacturers.

The lawsuit alleges that these capacitor manufacturers, faced with declining demand, agreed to raise, fix, and stabilize capacitor prices. Capacitors are electronic circuit components that temporarily store electrical charge, and nearly every electronic device manufactured today contains them. Trillions of capacitors of various size, capacitance, and materials are manufactured each year. Price-fixing in the multibillion-dollar market for aluminum, tantalum, and film capacitors may have started as far back as 2002 and continued through at least 2013.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), along with regulators in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada, Brazil, and Europe, has actively investigated the price-fixing allegations and many have imposed fines against some or all of these same defendant manufacturers. One Japanese corporation requested that the DOJ grant it amnesty from prosecution in exchange for reporting about the capacitor manufacturers’ illegal collusive conduct. To date, eight additional capacitors manufacturers and two of their individual executives have pleaded guilty and been sentenced for violating the federal antitrust laws following their plea agreements with the DOJ. Additional related executives remain under indictment.

Through this lawsuit, the firm seeks relief for direct purchasers of capacitors including, among other things, recovery of treble damages for the unlawful overcharge on capacitors resulting from the Defendants’ collusion.

To date, the firm has reached settlements totaling $439,550,000 with various Defendants.

Settlements To Date

    • Round 1 – $32.6 million in cash and secure agreements
    • Round 2 – $66.9 million established for settlements
    • Round 3 – $108 million
    • Round 4 – $232.05 million

Round 1

A first-round settlement total of $32.6 million in cash and secure agreements was reached against Defendants: Fujitsu Limited; NEC TOKIN Corporation and NEC TOKIN America, Inc.; Nitsuko Electronics Corporation; Okaya Electric Industries Co., Ltd. and Okaya Electric America, Inc.; and ROHM Co., Ltd. and ROHM Semiconductor USA, Inc. Settlement funds have been fully distributed.

Round 2

A second-round all-cash fund of $66.9 million was established for settlements reached against Defendants Hitachi Chemical and Soshin. The Court has approved these settlements and the funds were distributed in March 2021.

Round 3

The Court approved a third round of settlements with Defendants Nichicon and Rubycon, creating an additional all-cash fund of $108 million. Settlement funds were distributed in May 2021.

Round 4

The Class reached additional settlements totaling $232,050,000 with Defendants AVX, Elna, Holy Stone, Kemet, Panasonic, Shinyei, Shizuki, and Taitsu. On November 6, 2020, the Court approved these settlements and distribution of funds took place September 8, 2021.

For further information, please see the firm’s Capacitors case information page, press coverage of the most recent case settlements, and the In Re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation direct purchaser settlement website.

CASE STATUS AND 2021 TRIAL

The Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs filed their initial trial brief, which outlined their allegations and trial approach. On March 3, 2020, in the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs’ delivered their opening statement, which is viewable via transcript and video (starting at the 59:39 mark).

Due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, the Court suspended trial proceedings in March 2020 and later declared a mistrial, concluding that trial could not resume until a future date and that it would have to release the jury. A new 10-day trial against the two remaining Defendants, Nippon Chemi-con and Matsuo Electric Co., is scheduled to commence in November 2021.

February 28, 2019

Judge James Donato of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered an Order granting Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary approval of Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs’ class action settlements with Defendants Nichicon and Rubycon.

December 18, 2018

Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs (“DPPs”) submitted to the Court a Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlements with Defendants Nichicon and Rubycon. The settlements would create an all-cash fund of $108,000,000 plus an additional $12,000,000 in contingent payments based on Rubycon’s financial performance. If Defendants agree and settlement is approved, Nichicon will pay $90,000,000 by January 31, 2019. And Rubycon will pay $18,000,000 over two installments by January 23, 2019, plus up to $12,000,000 in contingent payments based on Rubycon’s net profits through its fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. Per approval, Rubycon will also agree to cooperate with DPPs in their continued prosecution of their price-fixing claims against the non-settling Defendants.

November 14, 2018

Judge James Donato of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered an Order granting Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. The order also denied Defendants’ Daubert motions to exclude the DPP’s expert opinions.

June 28, 2018

Judge James Donato of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered an Order granting class action settlement with Defendants Hitachi Chemical and Soshin.

June 27, 2018

Judge James Donato of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered an Order authorizing distribution of settlement funds for settlements reached against Defendants: Fujitsu Limited; NEC TOKIN Corporation and NEC TOKIN America, Inc.; Nitsuko Electronics Corporation; Okaya Electric Industries Co., Ltd. and Okaya Electric America, Inc.; and ROHM Co., Ltd. and ROHM Semiconductor USA, Inc.

March 2, 2018

Judge James Donato of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered an Order preliminarily certifying a settlement class of Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs in In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation.

Settlements totaling $66,900,000 have been reached with Defendants Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd., Hitachi AIC, Inc., Hitachi Chemical Co. America, Ltd.; Soshin Electric Co., Ltd., and Soshin Electronics of America Inc.

The lawsuit is continuing against Defendants that have not previously settled.

December 21, 2017

Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs (“DPPs”) submitted to the Court a Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement with Defendants Hitachi Chemical and Soshin. The settlements create an all-cash fund of $66,900,000 for the benefit of the Settlement Class: $63,000,000 for Hitachi Chemical and $3,900,000 for Soshin. In addition, each of the settling Defendants also agreed to cooperate with DPPs in their continued prosecution of their price-fixing claims against the non-settling defendants. This proposal by DPPs follows materially similar procedures for notifying the settlement class and adopts the same allocation formula for distributing the settlement funds, as what the Court preliminarily and finally approved for the first round of settlements DPPs reached with Defendants Fujitsu Limited; NEC TOKIN Corporation and NEC TOKIN America, Inc.; Nitsuko Electronics Corporation; Okaya Electric Industries Co., Ltd. and Okaya Electric America, Inc.; and ROHM Co., Ltd. and ROHM Semiconductor USA, Inc. DPPs request that the Court grant preliminary approval of the settlement agreements, certify the settlement class, and approve the proposed plan of notice to the settlement class.

Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement with Defendants Hitachi Chemical and Soshin

July 11, 2017

(Department of Justice – Office of Public Affairs)  “Including today’s charge, the Antitrust Division has now charged seven companies and ten individuals for participating in a long-running conspiracy to fix the price of a critical component in electronic devices used by millions of American consumers,” said Director of Criminal Enforcement Marvin Price of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “But our investigation is not over. We are continuing to pursue the companies and executives who conspired to undermine competition in this vital industry.”

Electrolytic capacitors store and regulate electrical current in a variety of electronic products, including computers, televisions, car engines and airbag systems, home appliances and office equipment.

Today’s charge results from ongoing federal antitrust investigations being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office into price fixing, bid rigging, and other anticompetitive conduct in the capacitor industry. Anyone with information related to the focus of this investigation should contact the Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center at 888-647-3258, visit https://www.justice.gov/atr/report-violations, or call the FBI tip line at 415-553-7400.

June 27, 2017

United States Northern District Judge James Donato ordered in favor of Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs, granting final approval of class action settlements with Defendants Fujitsu Limited; NEC TOKIN Corporation and NEC TOKIN America, Inc.; Nitsuko Electronics Corporation; Okaya Electric Industries Co., Ltd. and Okaya Electric America, Inc.; and ROHM Co., Ltd. and ROHM Semiconductor USA, Inc. The settlements total $32,600,000 in cash and secure agreements by each of the five settling Defendants. The Court also granted Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs’ request for $8,150,000 in attorneys’ fees and $3,000,000 for incurred expenses. For further information, please consult:

In re Capacitors Settlement Website

Court Order: Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlements

Court Order: Granting Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs’ Motion for Attorney Fees and Expenses Reimbursement

Court Order: Final Judgment of Dismissal – Fujitsu Limited

Court Order: Final Judgment of Dismissal – NEC TOKIN

Court Order: Final Judgment of Dismissal – Nitsuko Electronics Corporation

Court Order: Final Judgment of Dismissal – Okaya

Court Order: Final Judgment of Dismissal – ROHM

April 2017

The Court approved Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs’ settlement with Defendants Fujitsu Limited; NEC TOKIN Corporation and NEC TOKIN America, Inc.; Nitsuko Electronics Corporation; Okaya Electric Industries Co., Ltd. and Okaya Electric America, Inc.; and ROHM Co., Ltd. and ROHM Semiconductor U.S.A., LLC totaling $32.6 million.

December 30, 2015

The Court issued an Order denying Defendants’ motions (except for American Shizuki Corporation’s motion) to dismiss Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs’ claims.

July 2014

The Joseph Saveri Law Firm filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of direct purchasers of aluminum, tantalum, and film capacitors. The lawsuit seeks damages on behalf of a class of direct purchasers under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

February 28, 2019

Judge James Donato of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered an Order granting Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary approval of Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs’ class action settlements with Defendants Nichicon and Rubycon.