(CN) – An antitrust class action against manufacturers of hydrogen peroxide was improperly certified due to an insufficient standard of review, the 3rd Circuit ruled.
The U.S. government and the European Commission investigated the manufacturers, some of whom pleaded guilty to price-fixing charges.
Consumers filed an antitrust suit under the Sherman Act against the makers of hydrogen peroxide, which is used as a bleaching agent and is sold under several different levels of strength.
Judge Scirica of the federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled that the plaintiffs needed to make more than a threshold showing that the impact of the alleged conspiracy would affect them generally, rather than individually.
“A threshold showing could signify, incorrectly, that the burden on the party seeking certification is a lenient one,” Scirica ruled, “or that the party seeking certification receives deference or a presumption in its favor.”
Instead, the judge ruled, the trial court should determine which side’s expert was more persuasive.