NetGear to Settle Speed Suit

NetGear’s claim to speed has cost it some money.

NetGear will settle a class-action lawsuit that
challenges its data-speed claims, according to documents filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The wireless router and gateway maker still denies any wrongdoing, but
“believes the settlement is in the best interest of NetGear and its
stockholders to avoid the distraction and expense of continued litigation.”

The settlement, which still requires a judge’s approval, has several parts.

In addition to including a disclaimer about wireless signal rates on its
packages, user manuals, press releases and ads, NetGear will give the
suit’s plaintiffs a 15 percent discount on future purchases from its online
store.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based NetGear will also donate $25,000 worth of its
products to a local nonprofit charity of its choice. The largest expense in
the proposed settlement is NetGear’s willingness to pay up to $700,000 in
attorneys’ fees and costs.

NetGear said it set aside $600,000 for the estimated cost of the settlement
in its most recent quarter. It also expects to increase the litigation budget
line by approximately $130,000 in the fourth quarter.

A hearing has been scheduled for March 21, 2006, to approve the terms of the
agreement.

The legal action was originally filed in Superior Court of California on
June 10, 2004, by Lev Zilberman on behalf of consumers who bought their
products in the United States.

NetGear competes against several players for home and small business
Customers, including the Linksys division of Cisco ,
Belkin, 3Com and D-Link, among others.

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