Class Action Defense Cases-In re Dynamic Random Access Memory: California Federal Court Grants Motion To Dismiss Certain Antitrust Class Action Claims Finding Plaintiffs Lack Antitrust Standing
Antitrust Class Action Complaint Failed to Adequately Establish Antitrust Injury thus Warranting Dismissal of Certain Antitrust Claims in Class Action Complaint for Lack of Standing California Federal Holds
Plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against various defendants for allegedly conspiring to artificially inflate and fix the prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) in the market: plaintiffs are indirect purchasers of DRAM, and filed the class action on behalf of other indirect purchasers; the class action named as defendants foreign corporations, or U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations, that manufacture and sell DRAM in the U.S. In re Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Antitrust Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (N.D. Cal. January 29, 2008) [Slip Opn., at 1-2]. Defense challenges to the class action led to the filing of a second amended class action complaint, and defense attorneys moved to dismiss certain claims therein. Id. The district court granted the motion in part and denied the motion in part.
By way of background, the district court explained at page 2 that in August 2006, defense attorneys moved for judgment on the pleadings with respect to the original class action complaint, and in June 2007, the court granted the motion in part in an order that enunciated “two overarching conclusions”: (1) that “under the standing test enunciated in Assoc. Gen. Contractors of Cal. v. Cal. State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519 (1983)(‘AGC’), plaintiffs lacked antitrust standing to assert their claims under both the California Cartwright Act and 13 state antitrust statutes, for all claims based on purchases of products in which DRAM is a component,” and “further granted defendants’ motion for lack of standing with respect to 3 more state antitrust statutes, regardless whether those claims were based on purchases of non-component DRAM, or products in which DRAM is a component”; and (2) that the class action claims “under various states’ consumer protection statutes failed, on grounds that the claims were untimely, had procedural deficiencies, or else failed to state a valid claim for relief.” The district court granted plaintiffs’ leave to amend, “but only as to three specific state laws - South Dakota, New York, and Rhode Island.” In re DRAM, at 2. Plaintiffs did so, but then sought leave to further amend the class action complaint believing they could overcome the concerns expressed by the court in its June 2007 order; defense attorneys opposed the motion on the ground of futility, but the court granted leave to amend and a second amended class action complaint was filed. Id., at 2-3. Defense attorneys moved to dismiss certain claims therein, id., at 3.