State of California v. Infineon Technologies, AG and State of New York v. Micron et al.
In August 2007, our attorneys, as part of a team representing defendants, won a major victory for Micron Technology, Inc., in State of California v. Infineon Technologies, AG, et al, No. C-06-4333 (N.D. Cal.), and State of New York v. Micron et al, No. C-06-6436 (N.D. Cal.) cases brought by the State Attorney Generals in the DRAM antitrust MDL litigation. These actions allege a conspiracy by DRAM manufacturers to fix prices on DRAM and DRAM-containing products beginning in 1999. In the New York action, Defendants successful convinced the court to sharply limit the Attorney General of New York's claimed ability to sue on behalf of consumers and state and local government entities. The Court held that neither the Donnelly Act, New York's antitrust statute, nor Executive Law § 63 allowed the State of New York to seek recovery in a representative capacity on behalf of consumers and government entities. The Court further restricted the scope of New York's claim by concluding that the state could not sue as the purported assignee of the claims of various vendors from which the State had purchased DRAM and DRAM-containing products. Our attorneys were primarily responsible for the briefing on this motion.
In the State of California action - brought by more than forty different States and local government entities - the Court determined the viability of the plaintiffs' claims under numerous state and federal laws. In its most significant finding, the Court rejected the claims of a number of states (other than California) that they were entitled to bring suit under California's Cartwright Act. The Court found that these states could not evade the limitations on recovery of their own state laws by suing under the laws of California. By significantly reducing the claims pending against Micron and its co-defendants, this victory eliminated a large majority of Micron's potential damages exposure in these cases. The Court also found that, as in the New York action described above, many of the states in this action that sought to bring representative claims on behalf of consumers under their own state antitrust laws were not entitled to do so.