Optical Disk Drive Litigation
- O’Melveny won a major victory for Samsung in an MDL in the Northern District of California related to alleged price fixing of ODDs. Judge Richard Seeborg denied motions for class certification from plaintiffs representing both indirect and direct purchasers of ODDs in litigation that began over four years ago. The court’s decision is one of only two instances in which class certification was defeated in a direct purchaser action, notwithstanding the existence of a guilty plea in the criminal case. The plaintiffs accused Samsung and other companies that made or sold ODDs of conspiring to fix the prices of ODDs and initially a wide-range of finished products containing ODDs. Judge Seeborg ruled that both the direct and indirect purchaser plaintiffs failed in their bids for class certification because neither group had a viable methodology for proving that all members of the putative classes suffered antitrust injury as a result of defendants’ conduct. He also ruled that plaintiffs failed to show that the class action was the superior method for trying this action. O’Melveny led the effort to oppose the direct purchaser plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, including drafting the winning brief for the direct purchaser joint defense group and arguing the motion before the court. O’Melveny was also actively involved in the work to oppose the Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.
- In June 2013, a large group of opt-out plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss Samsung from the long-running MDL action In re Cathode Ray Tube Antitrust Litigation, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The opt-out plaintiffs’ dismissal came on the heels of similar voluntarily dismissals in the same MDL of claims against Samsung Electronics in March and May of 2013 by the two putative classes of “direct” and “indirect” purchasers of cathode ray tubes (CRTs). All direct and indirect purchaser classes, and the opt-out plaintiffs had alleged a wide-ranging conspiracy to fix the price of CRTs over a twelve-plus-year period. Despite the fact that the various plaintiffs were seeking joint and several damages that, after trebling, likely reached into the billion-dollar range, O’Melveny obtained the voluntary dismissal of Samsung Electronics by all plaintiffs without ceding even a penny in return. The dismissals were the result of five years’ worth of aggressive motions practice and record-building by O’Melveny attorneys.