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.