The Class includes all persons and entities who, as residents of the United States and during the period from January 1, 2000 through May 31, 2011, indirectly purchased new for their own use and not for resale one of the following products which contained a Lithium Ion Cylindrical Battery manufactured by one or more Defendants in this lawsuit or their co-conspirators: (i) a portable computer; (ii) a power tool; (iii) a camcorder; or (iv) a replacement battery for any of these products. “Indirectly” means the product was purchased from someone other than the manufacturer, such as a retail store.
Eligible Lithium Ion Products
For purposes of the Settlements are as follows:
- “Lithium Ion Battery Cell(s)” or “Li-Ion Cells” means cylindrical, prismatic, or polymer cells used for the storage of power that is rechargeable and uses lithium ion technology.
- “Lithium Ion Battery Pack” means Lithium Ion Battery Cells that have been assembled into a pack, regardless of the number of Lithium Ion Cells contained in such packs.
- “Lithium Ion Battery” or “Li-Ion Battery” means a Lithium Ion Battery Cell or Lithium Ion Battery Pack.
- “Lithium Ion Cylindrical Battery” or “Li-Ion Cylindrical Battery” means a cylindrical Lithium Ion Battery Cell or cylindrical Lithium Ion Battery Pack.
- “Finished Product” means any product and/or electronic device that contains a Lithium Ion Battery or Lithium Ion Battery Pack, including but not limited to laptop PCs, notebook PCs, netbook computers, tablet computers, mobile phones, smart phones, cameras, camcorders, digital video cameras, digital audio players, and power tools.
The lawsuit alleges that Defendants and co-conspirators conspired to raise and fix the prices of cylindrical Li-Ion Cells for over ten years, resulting in overcharges to indirect purchasers of portable computers, camcorders, and power tools containing Li-Ion Cylindrical Batteries. The complaint describes how the Defendants and co-conspirators allegedly violated the U.S. and state antitrust, unfair competition, and consumer protection laws by agreeing to fix prices and restrict output of these cells by, among other things, face-to-face meetings and other communications, customer allocation, and the use of trade associations. Defendants deny Plaintiffs’ allegations. The Court has not decided who is right.
Three groups of Defendants have agreed now to settle the lawsuit – LG Chem, Hitachi Maxell, and NEC. The case is continuing against the remaining Non-Settling Defendants. Additional money may become available in the future as a result of a trial or future settlements, but there is no guarantee that this will happen.
Settlements have been reached with LG Chem, Ltd. and LG Chem America, Inc. (“LG Chem”), Hitachi Maxell Ltd. and Maxell Corporation of America (“Hitachi Maxell”), and NEC Corporation (“NEC”), or collectively “the Settling Defendants.”
The Non-Settling Defendant companies include: Samsung SDI Co. Ltd.; Samsung SDI America, Inc.; Panasonic Corporation; Panasonic Corporation of North America; Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.; Sanyo North America Corporation; NEC Tokin Corporation; and Toshiba Corporation.