In Dell’s complaint, filed by Alston & Bird, the computer maker notes that all six of the defendants it names–Hitatchi, Sharp, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, LG Display, Epson Imaging Devices, and Chi Mei Optoelectroncs–have already pled guilty in the government’s antitrust investigation, paying a total of more than $860 million in fines. According to the complaint, Sharp and Hitachi Displays specifically admitted in their guilty pleas to overcharging Dell for LCD panels.
A class action brought by direct purchasers has already survived a motion to dismiss in the MDL. (Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and Pearson, Simon, Soter, Warshaw and Penny are class counsel.) Why didn’t Dell just stay in the class (which hasn’t yet been certified)? Jess Blackburn, a Dell spokesperson, said in an e-mail to us that some companies have chosen to file their own suits against LCD makers rather than participate in the class action. Indeed, according to the docket, Dell’s firm, Alston & Bird, already represents Nokia in one such case.
“We are focused on the damages we believe were done to Dell, and chose to seek recovery through our own, independent action,” Blackburn said.
According to the docket, the defendants named in the Dell suit have been represented in the MDL by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Hitachi); Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and Bingham McCutchen (Sharp); Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (LG); Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker and Morrison & Foerster (Epson); Baker & McKenzie (Chunghwa); and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Door (Chi Mei).
Correction: In a an earlier version of this story, we incorrectly reported that Hitachi is represented in the MDL by White & Case. Hitachi is represented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. In addition, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr represents Chi Mei, not Duane Morris as we reported. We regret the errors.