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Nvidia settles price-fixing lawsuit

Out-of-court deal cut with plaintiffs

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Nvidia has settled a class action lawsuit that alleges it conspired with AMD to fix graphics chip prices.

The proposed settlement, outlined in the company's latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), offers initial plaintiffs $112,500 and a further $1.7m to all the others who subsequently signed up when the lawsuit attained class-action status.

Nvidia's financial statement indicates it would pay $850,000 into that $1.7m fund - it's not so stated, but it's clear that it hopes the remainder will come from AMD. This package requires the approval of the court. If it's so approved, it would entail the dismissal of all claims on Nvidia by class-action plaintiffs. It does not cover their legal costs.

The out-of-court deal was accepted on 9 September by the plaintiffs who launched the lawsuit before it attained class-action status. Again, the agreement involves the dismissal of all claims made against Nvidia.

But not AMD - unless it too has cut such a deal, the action against it will proceed.

The lawsuit was brought against Nvidia and AMD in July. It alleged the two companies "conspired to fix, raise, maintain and stabilize prices of GPUs sold in the United States". It also said that they "colluded to coordinate the timing of new product introductions that were based on similar, competing technologies which also had the effect of fixing, raising, maintaining, and stabilizing GPU prices".

The case sought compensation for anyone who purchased an Nvidia or AMD graphics card between 4 December 2002 - before AMD acquired ATI - and 7 November 2007.

You can read the original complaint here (PDF).

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