Lithium Ion Battery Antitrust Litigation (Direct Purchaser)

Filing Deadline: TBD
Settlement Amount: $68,950,000.00
Eligible Claimants:

The Maxell, NEC and Toshiba Settlement Classes includes persons and entities who, from January 1, 2000 through May 31, 2011, bought a Li-Ion Cell, Li-Ion Battery and/or Li-Ion Product directly from one or more of the Defendants, or any division, subsidiary or Affiliate thereof, or any alleged co-conspirator (as opposed to an intermediary, such as a retail store) in the United States. The Panasonic Settlement Class includes persons and entities who made such purchases from May 1, 2002 through May 31, 2011.

Eligible Lithium Ion Products:

For purposes of the Settlements:

  • “Lithium Ion Battery Cell(s)” or “Li-Ion Cells” means the main components of Lithium Ion Batteries. A cell includes the cathode, anode, and electrolyte.
  • “Lithium Ion Battery” or “Li-Ion Battery” means a cylindrical, prismatic or polymer battery that is rechargeable and uses lithium ion technology.
  • “Lithium Ion Battery” or “Li-Ion Battery” means a Lithium Ion Battery Cell or Lithium Ion Battery Pack.
  • “Lithium Ion Battery Products” or “Li-Ion Products” means products manufactured, marketed and/or sold by Defendants, their divisions, subsidiaries or Affiliates, or their alleged co-conspirators that contain one or more Lithium Ion Battery Cells manufactured by Defendants or their alleged co-conspirators. Lithium Ion Battery Products include, but are not limited to, notebook computers, cellular (mobile) phones, digital cameras, camcorders and power tools.
Defendants:

The Defendant companies include the following LG Chem, Ltd.; LG Chem America, Inc.; Samsung SDI Co. Ltd.; Samsung SDI America, Inc.; Panasonic Corporation; Panasonic Corporation of North America; Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.; Sanyo North America Corporation; Sony Corporation; Sony Energy Devices Corporation; Sony Electronics Inc.; Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.; Maxell Corporation of America; NEC Corporation; NEC Tokin Corporation; and Toshiba.

Case History:

The lawsuit alleges that Defendants and co-conspirators conspired to raise and fix the prices of Li-Ion Cells for over ten years, resulting in overcharges to direct purchasers of Li-Ion Batteries and Li-Ion Products. The Complaint describes how the Defendants and co-conspirators allegedly violated the U.S. antitrust laws by agreeing to fix prices and restrict output of Li-Ion Cells by, among other things, face-to-face meetings and other communications, customer allocation, and the use of trade associations. Defendants deny Plaintiffs’ allegations. The Court has not decided who is right.

Plaintiffs have reached Settlements with Defendants Maxell, NEC, Toshiba and Panasonic. The Panasonic Settlement also resolves claims against SANYO. The Court has already approved a settlement with another group of Defendants—Sony Corporation, Sony Energy Devices Corporation and Sony Electronics Inc. (collectively, “Sony”). The case is continuing against the remaining non-released Defendants. Additional money may become available in the future as a result of a trial or future settlements, but there is no guarantee that this will happen.

The Settlements provide for payments totaling $49,850,000.00 in cash, plus interest, as follows: Maxell–$3.45 million; NEC–$1 million; Panasonic–$42.5 million; Toshiba–$2.9 million. The Settlements also provide for continuing cooperation, including the production of witnesses. In addition, Settling Defendants’ sales remain in the case for the purpose of computing damages against the remaining Defendants.