Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation Direct Purchaser Class

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I get a Notice?

    You or your company may have directly purchased Li-Ion Cells, Li-Ion Batteries, and/or Li-Ion Products from January 1, 2000, through May 31, 2011. For purposes of these settlements, a direct purchaser is a person or business who bought a Li-Ion Cell, Li-Ion Battery, and/or Li-Ion Product directly from one or more of the Defendants, or any division, subsidiary, or affiliate thereof, or any alleged co-conspirator (as opposed to an intermediary, such as a retail store) in the United States.

    You have the right to know about the litigation and about your legal rights and options before the Court decides whether to approve the settlements.

    The Notice explains the litigation, the settlements, and your legal rights.

    The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and the case is called In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 13-MD-02420-YGR. The people who sued are called "Plaintiffs," and the companies they sued are called "Defendants".

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  2. Who are the Defendant companies?

    The Defendant companies include the following LG Chem, Ltd.; LG Chem America, Inc.; Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.; Samsung SDI America, Inc.; Panasonic Corporation; Panasonic Corporation of North America; SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.; SANYO North America Corporation; Sony Corporation; Sony Energy Devices Corporation; Sony Electronics, Inc.; Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.; Maxell Corporation of America; NEC Corporation; TOKIN Corporation, formerly known as NEC TOKIN Corporation; and Toshiba Corporation.

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  3. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit alleges that Defendants and co-conspirators conspired to raise and fix the prices of Li-Ion Cells for over ten years, resulting in overcharges to direct purchasers of Li-Ion Cells, Li-Ion Batteries, and Li-Ion Products. The complaint describes how the Defendants and co-conspirators allegedly violated the U.S. antitrust laws by agreeing to fix prices and restrict output of Li-Ion Cells by, among other things, face-to-face meetings and other communications, customer allocation, and the use of trade associations. Defendants deny Plaintiffs’ allegations. The Court has not decided who is right.

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  4. What is the status of the litigation?

    Plaintiffs have now reached settlements with all of the Defendants in this Action. However, the litigation will continue in order to complete settlement approval, claims administration, and consider Plaintiffs’ Application for Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses and Incentive Awards.

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  5. What are Li-Ion Cells, Li-Ion Batteries, and Li-Ion Products?

    For the purposes of the settlements, the following definitions apply:

    • “Lithium Ion Battery Cell(s)” or “Li-Ion Cells” means the main components of Lithium Ion Batteries. A cell includes the cathode, anode, and electrolyte.
    • “Lithium Ion Battery” or “Li-Ion Battery” means a cylindrical, prismatic or polymer battery that is rechargeable and uses lithium ion technology.
    • “Lithium Ion Battery Products” or “Li-Ion Products” means products manufactured, marketed and/or sold by Defendants, their divisions, subsidiaries or affiliates, or their alleged co-conspirators that contain one or more Lithium Ion Battery Cells manufactured by Defendants or their alleged co-conspirators. Lithium Ion Battery Products include, but are not limited to, notebook computers, cellular (mobile) phones, digital cameras, camcorders and power tools.
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  6. What is a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people, called class representatives, sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people are members of the class, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.

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  7. How do I know if I’m part of the settlement classes?

    The Settlement Classes include persons and entities who, from January 1, 2000, through May 31, 2011, bought a Li-Ion Cell, Li-Ion Battery, and/or Li-Ion Product directly from one or more of the Defendants, or any division, subsidiary or affiliate thereof, or any alleged co-conspirator (as opposed to an intermediary, such as a retail store) in the United States.

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  8. What do the settlements provide?

    The settlements provide for payments totaling $70,450,000.00 in cash as follows: Samsung SDI—$24.5 million; LG Chem—$41 million; TOKIN—$4.95 million. The LG Chem and Samsung SDI settlements also provide for continuing cooperation, including the production of witnesses, in case there is a trial. In addition, Settling Defendants’ sales remain in the case for the purpose of computing damages against any remaining Defendants in the event of trial. In return for these payments, settlement class members are required to give up the claims asserted in this lawsuit.

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  9. When can I get a payment?

    Distribution of the Samsung SDI, LG Chem, and TOKIN settlement funds will be made, along with settlement funds from previous settlements totaling $68,850,000.00 with the Sony, Maxell, NEC, Panasonic, and Toshiba Defendants, on a pro rata basis.

    The settlement funds will be allocated on a pro rata basis based on the dollar value of each class member’s purchase(s) of Li-Ion Cells, Li-Ion Batteries, and/or Li-Ion Products in proportion to the total claims filed. For purposes of determining the pro rata allocation of the settlement funds, purchases of Li-Ion Batteries and/or Li-Ion Products will be valued according to the proportionate value of the Li-Ion Cells contained in the product. This will be determined by the number of cylindrical cells, or equivalent (by capacity) prismatic or polymer cell, typically contained in particular finished products or battery packs. For example, laptop computers typically contained six (6) cylindrical cells. Camcorders typically contained four (4) cylindrical cells. Cell phones and digital cameras typically contained one (1) prismatic cell of approximately one half the capacity and price of a typical cylindrical cell. These will count as one half of a cylindrical cell. If a class member purchased batteries or packs, or other products, they will be valued according to the number of cylindrical cells, or equivalent (by capacity) prismatic or polymer cell, they contained. The resulting amounts will be multiplied by the net settlement funds (total settlements plus accrued interest minus attorneys’ fees, expenses, and class representative incentive awards) to determine each claimant’s pro rata share of the Settlement Fund.

    Please do not contact the Court about claim administration.

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  10. What are my rights in the settlement classes?
    • Remain in the settlement classes: If you wish to remain a member of the settlement classes, you do not need to take any action at this time.

    • Get out of one or more of the settlement classes: If you wish to keep your rights to sue LG Chem, Samsung SDI, and/or TOKIN about claims concerning the manufacture, supply, distribution, sale, or pricing of Li-Ion Cells—other than indirect purchaser claims, claims based on foreign purchases, or claims for product liability, personal injury, or breach of contract claims not related to the allegations in this case—you must exclude yourself from the settlement class(es) relating to the Defendant(s) you wish to retain your rights to sue. You will not get any money from the settlements from which you exclude yourself.

      To exclude yourself from one or more of the settlement classes, you must send a letter that includes the following:

      • Your name, address, and telephone number (include trade or business names, and address, and telephone numbers);
      • A statement saying that you want to be excluded from the Direct Purchaser Plaintiff settlement class in In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 13-MD-02420-YGR, as to each Defendant (LG Chem, Samsung SDI, and/or TOKIN) for which you wish to retain your rights to sue; and
      • Your signature.

      You must mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than March 1, 2018, to:

      In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation
      Settlement Administrator
      P.O. Box 4098
      Portland, OR 97208-4098

    • Remain in the settlement classes and object: You can ask the Court to deny approval of one or more of the settlements by filing an objection. You can’t ask the Court to order larger settlements; the Court can only approve or deny the settlements. If the Court denies approval of a settlement, no payments from that settlement will be sent out, and the lawsuit will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you must object.

      You may object to the proposed settlements in writing. You may also appear at the Fairness Hearing, either in person or through your own attorney. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for paying that attorney. All written objections and supporting papers must (a) clearly identify the case name and number (In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 13-MD-02420-YGR), (b) be submitted to the Court either by mailing them to the Class Action Clerk, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612, or by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California; and (c) be filed or postmarked on or before March 1, 2018.

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  11. What am I giving up to stay in the settlement classes?

    Unless you exclude yourself from the relevant settlement class(es), you can’t sue LG Chem, Samsung SDI, or TOKIN, or be part of any other lawsuit against LG Chem, Samsung SDI, or TOKIN, about the legal issues in this case. It also means that all of the decisions by the Court will bind you. The “Release of Claims" included in the settlement agreements includes any causes of actions asserted or that could have been asserted in the lawsuit, as described more fully in the settlement agreements.

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  12. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlements?

    The Court held a Fairness Hearing at 2:00 p.m. on May 8, 2018, at United States District Courthouse, 1301 Clay Street, Courtroom 1, 4th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612. At this hearing, the Court considered whether the settlements are fair, reasonable, and adequate.

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  13. Do I have to attend the hearing?

    The Fairness Hearing occurred on May 8, 2018, however, it was not mandatory to attend the hearing.

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  14. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    Yes. The Court has appointed the law firms of Saveri & Saveri, Inc.; Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP; and Berman Tabacco to represent you as “Class Counsel.” You do not have to pay Class Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, and have that lawyer appear in court for you in this case, you may hire one at your own expense. The contact information for Class Counsel is as follows:

    Class Counsel
    R. Alexander Saveri
    Geoffrey C. Rushing
    SAVERI & SAVERI, INC.
    706 Sansome Street
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    Bruce L. Simon
    PEARSON, SIMON & WARSHAW, LLP
    44 Montgomery Street
    Suite 2450
    San Francisco, CA 94104
    Joseph J. Tabacco, Jr.
    BERMAN TABACCO
    44 Montgomery Street
    Suite 650
    San Francisco, CA 94104

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  15. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel will also submit an Application for Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses and Incentive Awards to be heard at the same time as the Fairness Hearing on May 8, 2018. Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees of 30% of the total settlement funds of $139,300,000 (the sum of $70,450,000 from the current settlements and $68,850,000 from previous settlements with the Sony, Maxell, NEC, Panasonic and Toshiba Defendants), or $41,790,000. Class Counsel will also request reimbursement of litigation costs and expenses not to exceed $3,900,000, in accordance with the provisions of the settlement agreements. Class Counsel may also request that an amount be paid to each of the class representatives who helped the lawyers on behalf of the whole class (known as an “incentive award”).

    Lead Counsel will file their Application for Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses and Incentive Awards on or before February 8, 2018. On the same day, Lead Counsel will post their Application for Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses and Incentive Awards here. You may comment on or object to Class Counsel’s Application for Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses and Incentive Awards by following the procedure set forth in FAQ 10. Any comment or objection must be filed with the Court or postmarked by March 1, 2018.

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  16. How do I get more information?

    The notice summarizes the proposed settlements. For the precise terms and conditions of the settlements, please see the Important Documents page, or by contacting Class Counsel at the addresses listed above under FAQ 14; by accessing the Court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/cm-ecf (using the instructions provided at: www.cand.uscourts.gov/existcasefaq and here: www.pacer.gov/psc/faq.html); or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 1301 Clay Street, Courtroom 1, 4th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.

    PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THESE SETTLEMENTS OR THE CLAIM PROCESS.

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