Motorola Mobility, now a part of the Lenovo group, lost its appeal in a U.S. Federal Appeals Court (via <Re/code>) regarding price-fixing of mobile phone displays by Asian firms, sold to Motorola’s foreign units.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said,
Motorola Mobility, a unit of Lenovo Group, could not invoke U.S. antitrust law because its foreign subsidiaries had been the “immediate victims” of a conspiracy to boost prices on liquid crystal display screens.
Circuit Judge Richard Posner wrote the following for a three-judge panel :
Motorola’s foreign subsidiaries were injured in foreign commerce — in dealings with other foreign companies, to give Motorola rights to take the place of its foreign companies and sue on their behalf under U.S. antitrust law would be an unjustified interference with the right of foreign nations to regulate their own economies.
This case, which Motorola Mobility filed in 2009, had been a cause for widespread criticism for the company, as most analysts felt that the company was trying to obtain U.S. antitrust protections while shifting its tax burdens to other countries. Motorola has repeatedly denied this accusation.
The defendants for the case included heavyweights like Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Samsung SDI, Panasonic’s Sanyo unit, Sharp and Toshiba and others.