Judge rejects Toshiba’s argument that Illinois Brick bars retailers case in LCD flat panel antitrust litigation

Posted on: December 14th, 2012 by Steve Larson

A California federal judge refused to nix a group of retailers’ price-fixing claims against a slew of electronics makers in the liquid crystal display panel multidistrict litigation, deciding the indirect purchaser plaintiffs aren’t barred by the US Supreme Court Illinois Brick or the Ninth Circuit’s ATM fee ruling from seeking antitrust damages.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston denied two motions for partial summary judgment filed by Toshiba Corp., LG Display Co. Ltd., AU Optronics Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and 10 other LCD makers, saying the Illinois Brick ruling and Ninth Circuit’s ATM fee ruling did not do away with the exception that indirect purchasers can bring Sherman Act Antitrust claims if there is a conspiracy or ownership ties between the manufacturers and the direct purchasers, which was a question of fact in those cases.