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From Antitrust Law Daily, July 24, 2015

Settlements of CRT price fixing claims against Samsung and Hitachi get final approval

By Linda O’Brien, J.D., LL.M.

The federal district court in San Francisco has granted final approval to two settlements of price fixing claims against Samsung SDI and Hitachi Ltd. that would pay more than $46 million to a class of direct purchasers of cathode ray tubes. The plaintiffs alleged that Samsung and Hitachi participated in a conspiracy with other manufacturers of cathode ray tube (CRTs) to fix prices for CRT products, which include electronic products containing cathode ray tubes, such as televisions and computer monitors (In re Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Antitrust Litigation, July 22, 2015, Conti S.).

In April 2014, the court granted preliminary approval to the current class action settlements. A fairness hearing was held in August 2014, regarding the proposed settlements.

The settlement class was also certified and defined as follows: all persons and entities who, between March 1, 1995 and November 25, 2007, directly purchased a CRT product in the United States from any defendant, subsidiary, affiliate, or co-conspirator. Excluded from the class were the defendants; their parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates; any co-conspirators; all governmental entities; and any judges assigned to oversee any aspect of the suit.

Under the settlements, Samsung will pay $33 million and Hitachi will pay $13.4 million into a settlement fund to resolve the longstanding multidistrict litigation against the two defendant manufacturers.

The court found that the settlements were fair, reasonable, and adequate pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The prerequisites under Rule 23 for settlement purposes were satisfied: (1) hundreds of geographically dispersed class members made joinder of all members impracticable; (2) there were common questions of law and fact that predominated over individual claims; (3) claims or defenses of class plaintiffs were typical of the clams or defenses of the class; (4) the plaintiffs would fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class and have retained experienced counsel; and (5) a class action was superior to individual suits.

Finally, the notice given to the class of the settlements was determined to be the best notice practicable under the circumstances and the previous appointment of the class counsel was confirmed.

The case is No. CV-07-5944-SC, MDL No. 1917.

Attorneys: Bruce Lee Simon (Pearson Simon & Warshaw, LLP) and Guido Saveri (Saveri & Saveri, Inc.) for Crago, Inc. Gregory K. Arenson (Kaplan Fox and Kilsheimer LLP) for Meijer, Inc. Eliot A. Adelson (Kirkland & Ellis LLP) and Christopher M. Curran (White & Case) for Hitachi, Ltd., Samsung SDI Co., Ltd., Samsung SDI America, Inc., Toshiba Corp. and LG Electronics USA, Inc.

Companies: Samsung SDI Co. Ltd.; Samsung SDI America, Inc.; Samsung SDI Brasil, Ltd.; Tianjin Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.; Samsung Shenzhen SDI Co., Ltd.; SDI Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.; SDI Mexico S.A. de C.V.; Hitachi, Ltd.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust CaliforniaNews

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