US: Appeals court changes mind about Motorola LCD suit dismissal

An appeals court in Chicago announced Tuesday that it has decided to vacate its earlier decision to uphold the dismissal of Motorola Mobility’s lawsuit claiming it was a victim of the LCD panel price-fixing collusion, according to reports.

The court’s decision revives Motorola’s case against various LCD makers including Samsung Electrics and Sharp. The case will now be heard again.

The court did not offer a reason for its change of heart.

Mobile phone manufacturer Motorola, owned by Google, is suing companies that were found to have manipulated LCD screen prices. The case has earned significant attention by antitrust experts because Motorola is fighting the actions of LCD makers’ overseas affiliates.

The appeals court found last March that those overseas companies were beyond the reach of US antitrust law, and therefore dismissed the case.

The court is headed by US Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner.

”If the remedies are inadequate, or if the countries don’t have or don’t enforce antitrust laws, these were the risks that the subsidiaries (and hence Motorola) assumed by deciding to do business in those countries,” Posner wrote in the March decision.

That ruling aligned with last January’s ruling by US District Judge Joan B. Gottschall, who found similar reasoning for dismissing the case.

But Motorola was backed by the American Antitrust Institute and the Federal Trade Commission in its pursuit to have its case heard. Experts warned that dismissing the case on these grounds has wide, negative implications for the effectiveness and strength of federal antitrust law.

Full content: Bloomberg

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.