Panasonic Ducks Class Cert. In Battery Price-Fixing Suit

A California judge has rejected class certification by consumers in multidistrict litigation over lithium battery price-fixing, giving Panasonic Corp. a huge victory against a $1.7 billion treble-damages claim after all other defendant companies paid millions in settlements.

Monday's ruling by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers struck the indirect purchaser plaintiffs’ expert’s testimony for failing to demonstrate that inflated manufacturer prices directly affected retail prices. While all the manufacturers, including Panasonic, settled with direct commercial buyers, Judge Rogers found Edward E. Leamer’s calculations of how much of a roughly...

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