Antitrust -- 2015

Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp.   (U.S. Supreme Court)

Extraterritorial reach of U.S. antitrust law

This case involves a private antitrust suit against foreign manufacturers of LCD display screens for mobile phones. The Seventh Circuit rejected a claim by Motorola Mobility for against foreign manufacturers alleged to have fixed the prices of the screens before selling them to Motorola through its foreign subsidiaries, who then included the components in the phones destined for the U.S. market. The court thought that because the subsidiaries were incorporated abroad and the work was done abroad, there was an insufficient connection to U.S. commerce under the provisions of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvement Act of 1982.

The NAM filed an amicus brief supporting an appeal of this decision to the Supreme Court. Our brief simply calls for clarification from the Court on the extent to which U.S. antitrust law allows a right of action against price fixing in this kind of situation, which for many reasons is not an uncommon way for U.S. manufacturers to structure their manufacturing operations when buying from foreign suppliers. A similar case in the Ninth Circuit, involving criminal charges for the same conspiracy, resulted in that court allowing U.S. jurisdiction because of the significant effects on U.S. commerce.

On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied cert in this case.

Related Documents:
NAM amicus brief  (April 16, 2015)


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