Lawsuit seeks $480M for price fixing by electronics giants

Suit claims prices for capacitors found in electronics including cell phones have inflated price by as much as $480 million.

VANCOUVER — A class-action lawsuit has been filed in four provinces claiming that suppliers of the tiny electronic capacitors found in everything from cellular phones to kitchen stoves have been working together to inflate prices.

The suit filed in Ontario, BC, Saskatchewan and Quebec claims Samsung, Hitachi, Panasonic, Sanyo, TDK and others have colluded since at least 2005 inflating prices by as much as $480 million.

Lawyer Tony Merchant says the electronic manufacturers acted as a cartel and the US Justice Department is in the midst of a sweeping investigation into price-fixing by these companies.

He says trillions of capacitors are used every year and the inflated costs are ultimately passed on to consumers.

Merchant says both manufacturers who bought the capacitors for their products and consumers who paid for finished products have signed on to the lawsuit, but potentially every Canadian has been affected.

A class-action lawsuit must be approved by a judge and the allegations in the claim have not been proven in court.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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