Lithium ion battery antitrust class action settles

Posted on: March 31st, 2017 by Steve Larson

The final four manufacturers named as defendants in an antitrust class action involving lithium ion batteries have agreed to settle the remaining claims. The batteries are widely used in laptop computers and other electronic devices. Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi, and NEC have agreed to pay $50 million to settle litigation by direct purchasers of lithium ion batteries. The lawsuits alleged that the companies colluded with other electronics manufacturers to fix battery prices for more than a decade.

The settlements add to the $19 million deal that Sony Corp. agreed to pay direct purchasers last February.

Some of the lithium ion battery manufacturers have also settled with indirect purchasers – like consumers. Sony agreed to pay $19.5 million. Hitachi and NEC Corp. agreed to pay $3.45 million and $2.5 million, respectively, to settle the indirect purchasers’ claims. In December, LG Chem Ltd. agreed to pay $39 million in a deal with the indirect purchasers.

The MDL is entitled In re: Lithium-Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, case number 4:13-md-02420, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.