Bird & Bird wins key applications in Nokia’s claim against LCD cartel participants

23 March 2012

Bird & Bird has successfully defended applications by Hitachi and Samsung to strike out/summarily dismiss Nokia’s claims in the English High Court arising out of their participation in a cartel that raised the prices of liquid crystal displays (LCD) supplied to Nokia. An application by Nokia to amend its Statement of Case, to particularise the activities of the cartel participants (which included Hitachi, Samsung, Samsung SDI, Sharp, Toshiba and AU Optronics), was also successful. In December 2011 Epson settled the claims by Nokia in the High Court and in a co-pending action in the United States for US$ 80 million.

Nokia’s claims are based on Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which prohibits anti-competitive activities and practices. A breach of Article 101(1) is actionable in the English courts as a breach of statutory duty. The judgment by Mr Justice Sales can be found here.

Nokia’s team included Bird & Bird partner Gerry Kamstra and barristers Christopher Vajda QC, Paul Harris QC and Ben Rayment from Monckton Chambers. Gerry Kamstra commented “The judgment is a key success in Nokia’s efforts to recover damages from the participants in a secret cartel that conducted its activities over several years to the detriment of Nokia’s business”.