Price fixing settlement: If you owned a TV in 1995 you could get money back

If you bought one of those big, boxy TVs or computer monitors between 1995 and 2007, you can get cash back, thanks to a class action lawsuit on price fixing.

CRT TVs are the large monitors which were largely replaced by flat-panel technology in the early 2000s.

The lawsuit alleged seven electronics companies conspired to fix prices of cathode ray tubes (CRT) – which were commonly used in televisions and computer monitors. Lawyers said the price of the tube then drove up prices of the TVs and monitors.

In settlements, the companies agreed to pay a total of $49.8 million to Canadians who purchased a TV or computer monitor with CRT technology between March 1995 and November 2007.

The settlements and the court-approved claims process will “allow eligible Canadians to recover money they should have never been charged in the first place,” Linda Visser of Siskinds LLP said in a statement.

The lawsuits, launched in 2008 by Siskinds LLP and Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman (CFM), were filed in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Settlements with separate companies occurred over a period of time, and claims were being accepted as of Nov. 2, 2018.

All Canadians, regardless of province or territory, can apply to make a claim here.

“While not every CRT manufacturer is named in this lawsuit, the defendants were the main players in the CRT market during the relevant years,” lawyer Bridget Moran, of Siskinds LLP, told Global News.

“In any event, Canadians can claim for any CRT products that they purchased, regardless of the manufacturer or brand.”

Since the settlements were reached before trial, it’s unclear exactly how much higher the price of TVs and monitors were. Moran explained the court would have set that number based on expert testimony.

The amount of money Canadians will get back will depend on the number of claims and the value of the products.

Canadians have until March 1, 2019, to file a claim. You don’t need a receipt or proof of purchase to be able to claim up to two devices, but proof of purchase is required if claiming more devices.

The defendants, listed below, each agreed to pay a separate amount in the settlement.

  • Chunghwa, $2 million
  • Panasonic, $4.15 million
  • Toshiba, US$2.95 million
  • Hitachi, US$2.05 million
  • LG Electronics, $7.75 million
  • Philips $12.4 million
  • Samsung SDI, $16.98 million

“Our hope is that cases like this will encourage companies to be more mindful of their legal obligations to their customers, including in how they price their products,” Moran explained.

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© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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