Zelle Hofmann, co-lead counsel for indirect purchasers in the LCD antitrust class action, announces seven settlement agreements in the long-running cartel case totaling $538.5 million in cash, the largest all-cash settlement in an indirect-purchaser antitrust case (Case No: 3:07-MD-1827-SI, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California). Zelle Hofmann Senior Partner Francis Scarpulla filed papers seeking preliminary approval of the settlements with the federal district court in San Francisco on December 23, 2011.
Under the settlements, consumers and businesses in 25 states that bought certain LCD TVs, laptop computers, and computer monitors from 1999 to 2006 will be eligible to receive a cash payment. The seven settling defendants will also agree to an injunction prohibiting them from engaging in further anticompetitive conduct in the market for LCD panels used in TVs, laptop computers, and computer monitors. Additionally, the settling defendants will provide assistance to the indirect purchasers as they prepare for trial against the three remaining defendants, scheduled for April 2012.
The settlements are the result of an innovative process that included the participation of the attorneys general from eight states that also have cases pending against the same defendants. The settling defendants, who are among the world's largest makers of LCD panels, will pay amounts ranging from just over $5 million to $240 million. The settlements will release the claims of certain indirect purchasers of LCD panels contained in TVs, laptop computers, and computer monitors, alleging that the settling defendants participated in a long-running global conspiracy to fix LCD panel prices. The settling defendants dispute the allegations.
In addition to Senior Partner Francis Scarpulla, Zelle Hofmann attorneys working on the matter include Senior Partner Craig Corbitt, Partner Judith Zahid, and Associates Patrick Clayton, Qianwei Fu, and Heather Rankie, all of the firm's San Francisco office.