Avnet Incorporated v. Hitachi Chemical Company Limited et al
TRANSFER ORDER re: pldg. ( 1 in MDL No. 2801) Transferring 2 action(s) to Judge James Donato in the N.D. California.Signed by Judge Sarah S. Vance, Chair, PANEL ON MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION, on 12/5/2017. Associated Cases: MDL No. 2 801, AZ/2:16-cv-02808, AZ/2:17-cv-02058, CAN/3:14-cv-03264, CAN/3:14-cv-03300, CAN/3:14-cv-03698, CAN/3:14-cv-03815, CAN/3:14-cv-04123, CAN/3:14-cv-04403, CAN/3:14-cv-04514, CAN/3:14-cv-04657, CAN/3:14-cv-04677, CAN/3:14-cv-04704, CAN/3:14-cv-04742, CAN/3:14-cv-04782, CAN/3:14-cv-04800, CAN/3:15-cv-02517, CAN/3:17-cv-03472 (SM) Modified on 12/5/2017 (SM). CORRECTED NUMBER OF ACTIONS
UNITED STATES JUDICIAL PANEL
IN RE: CAPACITORS ANTITRUST
LITIGATION (NO. III)
MDL No. 2801
Before the Panel:* Thirty-nine defendants1 in the actions listed on Schedule A move under
28 U.S.C. § 1407 to centralize pretrial proceedings in this litigation in the Northern District of
California. This litigation consists of two actions pending in the District of Arizona and fifteen
actions pending in the Northern District of California, as listed on Schedule A. The actions allege
that various manufacturers of capacitors (which are primarily Japanese firms and their U.S.
subsidiaries) conspired to fix the prices of aluminum and tantalum electrolytic capacitors, as well
as film capacitors, all of which are used in myriad electronic products. The litigation pending in the
Northern District of California consists of fourteen actions that have been consolidated for all
purposes. These actions include putative direct purchaser class actions, putative indirect purchaser
class actions, and an individual direct purchaser action. Another individual direct purchaser action
was recently transferred from the Southern District of Florida and has been related, but not
consolidated, with the other fourteen actions pending in California. Both of the Arizona actions are
individual direct purchaser actions.
Judges Lewis A. Kaplan and Ellen Segal Huvelle took no part in the decision of this matter.
Additionally, one or more Panel members who could be members of the putative classes in this
litigation have renounced their participation in these classes and have participated in this decision.
The moving defendants are: AVX Corporation; Panasonic Corporation; Panasonic
Corporation of North America; SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.; SANYO Corporation of North America;
NEC TOKIN Corporation; NEC TOKIN America, Inc.; Nippon Chemi-Con Corporation; United
Chemi-Con, Inc.; Nichicon Corporation; Nichicon America Corporation; KEMET Corporation;
KEMET Electronics Corporation; Rubycon Corporation; Rubycon America Inc.; Vishay Polytech
Co., Ltd.; ROHM Co., Ltd.; ROHM Semiconductor U.S.A., LLC; Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd.;
Hitachi AIC Inc.; Hitachi Chemical Co. America, Ltd.; ELNA Co., Ltd.; ELNA America Inc.;
Matsuo Electric Co., Ltd.; Holy Stone Enterprise Co., Ltd.; Milestone Global Technology Inc. (d/b/a
Holystone International); Okaya Electric Industries Co., Ltd.; Okaya Electric America Inc.; Taitsu
Corporation; Taitsu America, Inc.; Shinyei Kaisha; Shinyei Technology Co., Ltd.; Shinyei Capacitor
Co., Ltd.; Shinyei Corporation of America, Inc.; Nitsuko Electronics Corporation; Nissei Electric
Co., Ltd.; Shizuki Electric Co., Inc.; Soshin Electric Co., Ltd.; and Soshin Electronics of America,
Inc. Each defendant is named in at least one Arizona and one California action.
-2We previously denied a motion to centralize this litigation. See In re Capacitors Antitrust
Litig. (No. II), 223 F. Supp. 3d 1340 (J.P.M.L. 2016). That motion was opposed by multiple
plaintiffs and defendants. In contrast, no party opposes the present motion. Defendants represent
that plaintiffs in the Arizona action support centralization in the Northern District of California. The
direct purchaser class plaintiffs in the consolidated California actions take no position on the motion,
but request that any MDL be centralized in the Northern District of California.
We based our previous denial of centralization on the availability of alternatives to
centralization, such as transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) and informal cooperation and coordination
among the parties and the involved courts. Transfer under Section 1404(a) is no longer a viable
alternative to centralization—the court in one of the Arizona actions (Avnet) denied a Section
1404(a) transfer motion in July of this year. Nor are we convinced that informal cooperation and
coordination remain preferable to centralization. Our review of the California docket shows that this
has been a complex litigation, involving substantial foreign discovery and coordination with ongoing
criminal proceedings. Significant pretrial proceedings remain, including expert discovery and
dispositive motion practice. Centralization will eliminate the potential for duplicative discovery and
inconsistent pretrial rulings should the Arizona actions continue to proceed separately.
Accordingly, on the basis of the papers filed,2 we find that the actions listed on Schedule A
involve common questions of fact, and that centralization in the Northern District of California will
serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this
litigation. These actions share common factual and legal questions arising from allegations that
defendants conspired to fix prices for aluminum, tantalum, and film capacitors. Plaintiffs assert
claims for violation of federal and state antitrust laws, as well as state consumer protection laws.
Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; and
conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.
The Northern District of California is the appropriate transferee district for this litigation.
All parties agree on centralization in that district. The Honorable James Donato is the logical choice
to oversee this litigation, as he has presided over the consolidated California litigation since its
inception in 2014 and also is presiding over related criminal matters. Given his familiarity with the
parties and issues in this litigation, we are confident that Judge Donato will continue to steer the
litigation on an efficient and prudent course.
The parties waived oral argument.
-3IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the actions listed on Schedule A and pending outside
the Northern District of California are transferred to the Northern District of California and, with the
consent of that court, assigned to the Honorable James Donato for coordinated or consolidated
PANEL ON MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION
Sarah S. Vance
Marjorie O. Rendell
R. David Proctor
Charles R. Breyer
Catherine D. Perry
IN RE: CAPACITORS ANTITRUST
LITIGATION (NO. III)
MDL No. 2801
District of Arizona
AVNET INCORPORATED v. HITACHI CHEMICAL COMPANY LIMITED, ET AL.,
C.A. No. 2:16-02808
BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS INCORPORATED, ET AL. v. AVX CORPORATION,
ET AL., C.A. No. 2:17-02058
Northern District of California
IN RE CAPACITORS ANTITRUST LITIGATION, C.A. No. 3:14-03264
DEPENDABLE COMPONENT SUPPLY CORP. v. PANASONIC CORPORATION,
ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-03300
SCHUTEN ELECTRONICS, INC. v. AVX CORPORATION, ET AL.,
C.A. No. 3:14-03698
ELLIS, ET AL. v. PANASONIC CORPORATION, ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-03815
EIQ ENERGY, INC. v. AVX CORPORATION, ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-04123
BENNETT v. PANASONIC CORPORATION, ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-04403
IN HOME TECH SOLUTIONS, INC. v. PANASONIC CORPORATION, ET AL.,
C.A. No. 3:14-04514
TOY-KNOWLOGY INC. v. ELNA CO. LTD., ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-04657
CAE SOUND v. ELNA CO. LTD., ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-04677
QUATHIMATINE HOLDINGS, INC. v. ELNA CO. LTD., ET AL.,
C.A. No. 3:14-04704
BROOKS, ET AL. v. PANASONIC CORPORATION, ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-04742
WONG v. KEMET CORPORATION, ET AL., C.A. No. 3:14-04782
WALKER COMPONENT GROUP, INC. v. PANASONIC CORPORATION, ET AL.,
C.A. No. 3:14-04800
FLEXTRONICS INTERNATIONAL USA, INC. v. NEC TOKIN CORPORATION,
ET AL., C.A. No. 3:15-02517
THE AASI BENEFICIARIES TRUST, BY AND THROUGH KENNETH A. WELT,
LIQUIDATING TRUSTEE v. AVX CORPORATION, ET AL.,
C.A. No. 3:17-03472
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?