Robins Kaplan Named Co-Lead Counsel in Hard Disk Drive Antitrust Litigation

December 16, 2019

Robins Kaplan is pleased to announce that the firm has been named co-lead counsel for a nationwide putative class of end-user plaintiffs in In re Hard Disk Drives Suspension Assemblies Antitrust Litigation, an antitrust class action that alleges that the two largest manufacturers of hard disk drive suspension assemblies illegally conspired to fix prices. The putative class Robins Kaplan represents consists of consumers who, between May 2008 and April 2016, indirectly purchased a product, not for resale, which included a hard disk drive suspension assembly manufactured by one of the defendants.

Hard disk drive (HDD) suspension units are a key component of the hard disk drives found in a wide range of consumer products, including computers and gaming systems. The market for HDD suspension units is dominated by two Japanese companies: TDK and NHK. Together, these companies and their subsidiaries control approximately 90 percent of the global market for HDD suspension units.

Plaintiffs allege that these defendants and their co-conspirators colluded to fix prices of HDD suspension assemblies in the United States, resulting in higher prices for retailers and consumers. These claims were at the center of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which resulted in a guilty plea and a $28.5 million fine for NHK. Similar investigations have also been announced in Japan and Brazil.

“We look forward to pursuing relief on behalf of the consumers who we allege were forced to pay higher prices as a result of the defendants’ alleged conspiracy,” said Aaron Sheanin, a principal in Robins Kaplan’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group.

Robins Kaplan has a long history of successfully prosecuting anticompetitive conduct. Two decades ago, the firm pioneered a multibillion-dollar settlement against Big Tobacco, one of the first of its kind in the nation. Since then, Robins Kaplan has obtained $1.2 billion in settlements to date in In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, as well as over $1.2 billion in settlements in In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, in addition to many other successful recoveries. 

Robins Kaplan’s clients in this matter are represented by Hollis Salzman, co-chair of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group, and attorneys Kellie Lerner and Aaron Sheanin.

Hollis Salzman

Partner

Managing Partner, New York Office;
Co-Chair, Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group;
Member of the Executive Board

Kellie Lerner

Partner

Co-Chair, Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group;
Co-Chair, Diversity Committee

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