Feb 14 AT&T on Thursday won a ruling from
a federal appeals court in a lawsuit against liquid crystal
display panel makers alleging a price-fixing conspiracy.
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco
reinstated AT&T's claims based on California law over panel
purchases outside the state. The decision reversed a lower court
partial dismissal of AT&T's lawsuit.
The manufacturer defendants, including Taiwan-based AU
Optronics Corporation and Samsung Electronics Co
Ltd, had argued that AT&T's claims violated the due
process clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The three-judge panel for the 9th Circuit disagreed. It
found that California's antitrust statute, the Cartwright Act,
can be applied to the defendants as long as some of the
conspiratorial activity leading to sale of price-fixed goods
took place in the state.
Richard Taffet, an attorney for the defendants, declined to
AT&T spokesman Marty Richter said the company was pleased
with the ruling.
AT&T's lawsuit is one of several that have been filed
against LCD makers for allegedly fixing prices. Those companies
also have been the subject of a U.S. criminal probe. Last year,
a jury in California convicted AU and two of its executives.
The case is AT&T Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp, 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 11-16188.