The World in U.S. Courts: Summer 2013 - Antitrust/Competition | April.01.2013
The district court for the Northern District of California granted final approval of a $571 million antitrust class action settlement between consumers and certain states in the U.S. and defendant companies located in Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The defendants manufactured thin film transistor liquid-crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels used in televisions, computer monitors and notebook computers. The TFT-LCD panels and finished products containing them were exported to the U.S. and sold by subsidiaries of the defendants or third parties to U.S. consumers. Plaintiffs alleged that the defendants participated in a global conspiracy to fix prices for the TFT-LCD panels they manufactured. The consumers and states asserted claims under federal and state antitrust laws and that the court had jurisdiction pursuant to the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvement Act and comparable state laws. After six years of litigation, this group of defendants agreed to pay a total settlement of $571 million, which was in addition to a total settlement of $538.6 million previously paid by other defendants located in Korea, Taiwan and Japan.