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Supreme Court Denies Certiorari, Confirming Dismissal of Antitrust Claims Against Sharp
- Client News
- June 15, 2015
Paul, Weiss clients Sharp Corporation and Sharp Electronics Corporation maintained their significant antitrust victory when the United States Supreme Court, in a much-awaited decision, denied a petition by Motorola Mobility Inc. for certiorari. Motorola had hoped to overturn a unanimous decision of a panel on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that affirmed the dismissal of the vast majority of antitrust claims brought by Motorola against Sharp and several other electronics companies. Motorola alleged that Sharp and the other companies fixed the prices 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, including claims assigned by its foreign affiliates. Paul, Weiss and the defense group won partial summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, arguing that the 99 percent of the commerce that constituted purchases made by Motorola's foreign subsidiaries in China, Singapore and other foreign markets, was not subject to U.S. antitrust laws. Central to the case was construing the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) of 1982, which governs when conduct involving foreign commerce is subject to U.S. antitrust law.
The Seventh Circuit 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 FTAIA, the LCD panel purchases made by Motorola's foreign subsidiaries in foreign markets did not give rise to a claim under U.S. antitrust law.