Direct purchasers are plaintiffs and class members who directly purchased the products or services from one or more of the defendants in an antitrust class action. They may be original equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers or large companies. Often direct purchasers bought a product in order to resell it.
Indirect purchasers are plaintiffs and class members who purchased products or services from one or more of the defendants for their own use, and not for resale. They may be companies with large numbers of employees, such as those who bought CRT and LCD screens. They may be hotels or restaurant chains who bought polyurethane foam for beds, carpeting or furniture.
Most antitrust class action settlements involve charges of anticompetitive practices and price-fixing that affects both direct and indirect purchasers. However, direct and indirect purchasers are considered two separate classes, and often there will be separate settlements, settlement funds, and even separate claims administrators for direct and indirect purchasers.
SRG will file claims and pursue refunds for both direct and indirect purchaser settlements, even if we are filing for the same company. There have been instances of clients being eligible for both settlements, and eligibility criteria can change as a settlement progresses. Also, certain direct purchasers may have subsidiaries or affiliated business entities that are eligible for indirect purchaser refunds.