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Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Antitrust Claims Against Sharp
- Client News
- December 1, 2014
Paul, Weiss clients Sharp Corporation and Sharp Electronics Corporation won a significant victory when the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the vast majority of antitrust claims brought by Motorola Mobility Inc. against Sharp and several of its alleged antitrust conspirators. The case arose from allegations of price fixing in the sales of thin film transistor liquid crystal displays (LCDs) - a key component of flat screen monitors, televisions, cell phones and other handheld devices. Motorola's complaint sought to recover damages on nearly $6.1 billion worth of commerce in LCD panels, nearly ninety-nine percent of which was related to purchases made by its foreign subsidiaries in China, Singapore and other foreign markets.
In January, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed Motorola's claims covering that $6.1 billion in commerce, leaving only $61 million in commerce at issue. The Seventh Circuit then granted Motorola's petition for interlocutory appeal and subsequently affirmed in an opinion authored by Judge Richard Posner and joined by Judges Michael Kanne and Ilana Rovner. The Seventh Circuit's decision confirmed that under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act of 1982, the LCD panel purchases made by Motorola's foreign subsidiaries in foreign markets do not give rise to a claim under U.S. antitrust law. Rather, having chosen to incorporate and conduct business in foreign countries, Motorola's subsidiaries are limited to recovering under those nations' antitrust laws.