Mitsubishi Electric Settles Antitrust Case for $75M

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Mitsubishi Electric will pay $75 million to settle claims that it conspired to fix the prices of cathode ray tubes, ending more than nine years of antitrust litigation with direct buyers.

The motion for preliminary settlement approval was filed with U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar on Thursday.

Dozens of suits were filed against tube manufacturers in 2007 after the European Commission announced it was investigating a global conspiracy to rig the prices of cathode ray tubes, used in the display screens of older-model televisions and monitors.

Mitsubishi became the last remaining defendant in the case with direct purchasers after eight other manufacturers struck settlements totaling $137.2 million.

Prior settlements included deals with Samsung for $33 million, Philips Electronics for $15 million, Toshiba for $13.5 million, and Hitachi for $13.45 million.

The $75-million agreement will bring the total settlement package to more than $212 million for direct buyers of the electronic display components.

Rick Saveri, co-lead counsel for the direct purchaser class, said the case has been “well fought” by the defendants, and that his firm and clients are pleased to see it winding toward an end after nearly a decade.

“We’re very pleased with the settlement, and happy to present it to the court,” Saveri said. “We believe it’s a good settlement, and believe it will be approved.”

The direct purchaser class includes about 20,000 to 30,000 members, according to Saveri.

The settling defendants include Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric US Inc. and Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America Inc.

Mitsubishi Electric did not respond to an email seeking comment Friday afternoon.

The parties requested a hearing on the motion for preliminary settlement approval for Feb. 23.


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