Battery Price-Fixing Suit Will Proceed

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – An antitrust suit accusing Japanese and Korean companies of conspiring to fix prices of rechargeable lithium-ion cells, the core components of batteries used in many consumer goods, may proceed, a federal judge ruled.
     The multidistrict lawsuit, transferred to San Francisco in 2013, accuses Samsung, Panasonic, Sanyo, Sony, Hitachi, Maxwell and other major electronics companies of price-fixing.
     U.S. District Judge Yvonne Rogers on Oct. 2 partially upheld the second consolidated amended complaint of a class seeking to represent municipal and regional governments.
     Rogers dismissed several proposed damages classes, including one for the state of Montana, but allowed California’s governmental class to move forward.
     Rogers upheld the second consolidated amendment complaint of another class, which seeks to represent people who bought the batteries and battery products.
     Rogers, however, excepted City Circuit’s purchases of Hitachi batteries and camcorders containing those batteries.
     Rogers also ruled that motions by GS Yuasa and Toshiba Corp raise issues that may warrant early summary judgment motions, after “limited, tailored discovery.”

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