Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Pearson, Simon, Warshaw & Penny, LLP today announced that a federal court jury this morning found that Toshiba Corporation and its subsidiaries conspired with the world's other leading manufacturers of Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Displays ("TFT-LCDs") to raise and fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels and certain products. The jury awarded damages of $87 million. Federal antitrust law requires the trebling of these damages, resulting in a $261 million award against Toshiba.
Richard M. Heimann, co-lead counsel for plaintiffs, stated, "We are very pleased the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs and found that Toshiba violated the law, particularly in light of the government's decision not to criminally prosecute Toshiba for its misconduct. The case demonstrates once again the critical role our civil justice system plays in holding corporations, no matter how powerful or where they are based in the world, accountable for violating U.S. antitrust laws."
"There was strong evidence that Toshiba participated in the price-fixing conspiracy through communications with other TFT-LCD manufacturers, and that it received future pricing information from its competitors, shared its own future information, and was aware of its wrongdoing," stated Bruce L. Simon, co-lead counsel for plaintiffs. "We are grateful for the jury's service. The jury rejected Toshiba's claim that it had done nothing wrong, and this is one of the few antitrust class actions ever tried to a successful verdict."
About the LCDs Antitrust Litigation
TFT-LCDs are used in flat-panel televisions as well as computer monitors, laptop computers, mobile phones, personal digital assistants, and other devices. Plaintiffs charge that defendants conspired to raise and fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels and certain products containing those panels for over a decade.
Previously in the class action litigation, entitled In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1827 (N.D. Cal.), the Court certified two nationwide classes of persons and entities that directly purchased TFT-LCDs from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2006, one class of panel purchasers, and one class of class of buyers of laptop computers, computer monitors, and televisions that contained TFT-LCDs.
The classes reached settlements with ten other defendant manufacturers for a combined value of $430 million. Toshiba was the only defendant to proceed to trial. Lieff Cabraser serves as court-appointed Co-Lead Counsel for direct purchasers in the litigation.