Top Drug Lawsuits
|Class Action Lawsuits Mount Against Battery Price-Fixing Cartel|
- Wednesday, 31 October 2012 08:00
Class Action Lawsuits Mount Against Battery Price-Fixing Cartel
By Matt O'Donnell
The world’s largest manufacturers of rechargeable lithium ion batteries are facing mounting litigation from consumers who claim the Japanese and Korean companies entered into a global price-fixing scheme to raise the prices of batteries. At least 10 class action lawsuits have been filed against Panasonic, LG, Sony, Samsung, Sanyo, Hitachi and their American subsidiaries alleging that, since 2000, the companies have controlled nearly 90 percent of the worldwide market for the batteries, which power portable electronic devices such as cell phones, digital cameras, laptops, MP3 players and more.
According to the lithium battery class action lawsuits, the alleged price-fixing scheme has forced consumers to pay more than they normally would have to buy batteries from third-party vendors or for devices such as laptops that came with the batteries installed.
A federal judicial panel is considering a request to consolidate the class action lawsuits in New Jersey, where three of the defendants – America subsidiaries of LG, Hitachi and Panasonic – are located.
Plaintiffs in the lithium ion battery class action lawsuits point to other price-fixing schemes the defendants entered into as evidence they did the same for battery products. Many of the companies involved in the battery price-fixing lawsuits pleaded guilty to similar schemes involving LCD screens, random access memory chips and other consumer electronics components.
The plaintiffs allege the defendants entered into the conspiracy sometime in late 2001 or early 2002, after prices for lithium ion batteries fell sharply by nearly 50 percent when new manufacturers entered the market and triggered aggressive price competition. After the alleged price-fixing agreement was arranged, prices for the batteries rose steadily and substantially until 2008, when the economy fell, according to the class action lawsuits.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union reportedly launched an investigation into the alleged price-fixing cartel last year. The first of the lithium battery price-fixing class action lawsuits was filed on October 3, 2012. At least nine others have followed.
Updated October 31st, 2012
All class action and lawsuit news updates are listed in the Lawsuit News section of Top Class Actions
Top Class Actions Legal Statement
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:09