Finnish mobile giant Nokia has received a late Christmas present in the form of an $80 million settlement from Japanese printer maker Seiko Epson following complaints in the US and the UK that the company was violating competition laws.
In a statement on its website, ‘Settlement of Lawsuit and Announcement of Extraordinary Loss’, Seiko Epson’s noted that, whilst the company has denied liability in the LCD price-fixing lawsuits, the impact on its business and legal costs would damage the company more than a compensatory payout:
In November 2009, Nokia filed lawsuits in the United States and United Kingdom against Epson and its subsidiary companies including Epson Imaging Devices Corporation alleging violations of antitrust and competition laws. Epson has denied liability and vigorously defended the lawsuits. Because of the ongoing impacts of the lawsuits on its business and the expense of continuing litigation, however, the company has determined that settlement of the litigation is in Epson’s best interests.
The company will pay Nokia $80 million in full and the Finnish mobile maker will drop all of its lawsuits filed against Epson and its affiliates.
Nokia’s lawsuits in the US and UK accused LCD and CRT manufacturers of engaging in price fixing for more than a decade, including Epson but also Hitachi, LG, Philips, Samsung and many other Asian display makers.
As a result of the settlement, Seiko Epson has said it will post an “extraordinary loss in its business results for the third quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2012,” but it expects to deliver its full-year forecast, which is due on November 14 2012.