Update on iiyama Cartel Damages Proceedings

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Summary: This post provides a brief update on the iiyama cartel damages claims, which have in part been defeated on a summary judgment basis, with permission to amend being granted in relation a second cartel decision.

In this recent blog post, entitled “Lights Out? Territorial limits in EU cartel damages claims”, we explained the difficulties facing iiyama, who recently had their damages claim struck out by the High Court on the basis that the claim lacked a sufficient territorial connection to the UK.

In addition to its claim against the producers of CRT and CRT glass, iiyama had also brought a €160 million claim at the end of 2014 in respect of damage suffered as a result of the Liquid Crystal Display (“LCD”) cartel, which was the subject of a European Commission decision in 2010. LCD panels are used in iiyama’s televisions and computer monitors but the cartel arose in Asia and iiyama had not purchased the LCD panels directly in the EEA. Samsung and LG applied to strike out the claim on the grounds that it fell outside the jurisdiction of European competition law.    

Following the finding of the High Court in the CRT strike out hearing, Mr Justice Morgan again made clear that iiyama were precluded from arguing that sales by the cartelists outside of the EU amounted to an infringement of, or an implementation of the cartel within the territorial scope of Article 101. However, in contrast to the CRT case, the court declined to dismiss the claim in its entirety, stating that the issues which arose in the hearing were not suitable for summary disposal.

Instead, the judge allowed iiyama to amend their pleading. The claimants’ saving grace was a paragraph in their draft amended pleading which stated that if the LCD cartel had not been implemented in the EEA, LCD products would have been available at a non-cartelised price which purchasers could and would have bought. The court acknowledged that there was “not much evidence” to support this contention but considered it to be a pleadable case.

Iiyama were again criticised for the handing of their claim, with Mr Justice Morgan stating that the pleadings left “a great deal to be desired”. Iiyama has been invited to produce clearer pleadings which take into account the territorial limits of Article 101. 

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