Idaho has settled a lawsuit with computer chip manufacturers, and some consumers may have money coming their way as a result.
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced the settlement Tuesday with major manufacturers of dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM, computer chips.
After completing an investigation in 2006, Idaho and 34 other states filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against makers of DRAM chips, including Boise-based Micron Technology.
Micron will pay $66.7 million into the settlement fund. Micron's payment is the second largest, behind Samsung's $113 million, according to the Associated Press.
The lawsuit alleged price fixing among the companies, which led to artificially inflated prices on computers and other devices. A court granted initial approval of a $310 million settlement with the manufacturers, which opens the door for consumers to start filing claims.
"Idaho's governments, businesses and consumers spent significant amounts of money on products that contain DRAM," Wasden said. "When those costs are inflated by unlawful anti-competitive practices, as we have alleged in this case, we have a duty to help consumers recover their money."
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?
Idahoans who can claim payments include those who bought DRAM or DRAM-equipped devices from U.S. retailers between 1998 and 2002. The devices include:
- Desktop computers
- Laptop computers
- DVD players
- Video game consoles
- Computer graphics cards
- MP3 players
- Digital video recorders
Consumers must file claims by Aug. 1 with the settlement administrator by visiting DRAMclaims.com or calling (800) 589-1425.
No proof of purchase is necessary to file. However, consumers should keep receipts in case the administrator asks for documentation. Those filing large claims likely will be asked for proof, according to the claims website.
The minimum payment is $10. Payments could be more depending on the type and number of devices purchased and number of claims submitted.
Local governments, universities and colleges who bought the devices during those four years will get compensation from a different part of the settlement, with details to be announced after the court grants final approval of the settlement.