The Joseph Saveri Law Firm has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Chip-Tech Ltd. against AVX Corp. and other electronic resistors manufacturers in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
The suit charges AVX, Kemet, Panasonic, KOA Speer Electronics, ROHM, Vishay, TDK and other manufacturers with conspiring to fix, raise and stabilize resistor prices since January 1, 2003, forcing purchasers to obtain them at inflated prices. Plaintiffs seek damages under the Federal Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C.
Chip-Tech and other direct purchasers blame manufacturers for agreeing to exchange non-public price and production information in order to artificially hike resistor prices and control the multi-billion dollar market. Resistors are components used to modulate and reduce current in electric circuits, allowing consumers to control volume or heat level by adjusting resistance. They comprise 80% or more of the volume in most U.S. electric circuits, and are found in nearly every electronic device.
“This illegal collaboration among resistors manufacturers has made it difficult for Chip-Tech and other purchasers to compete in the inflated marketplace,” says Mr. Joseph Saveri, counsel for Chip-Tech. “Purchasers have to adjust their budgets accordingly, and those who can’t afford the higher prices are likely to go out of business. Meanwhile, manufacturers reap the benefits.”
Price fixing for electronic resistors, and passive electronic components in general, has drawn scrutiny from U.S. law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), since manufacturers first began to collaborate 12 years ago due to a decline in demand.
The suit, Chip Tech, Ltd. v. AVX Corp., et al., seeks treble damages for Chip-Tech and other purchasers under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.