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Hitachi, Samsung Lose Bid to Dismiss Nokia LCD Price Case

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Hitachi Europe Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co. lost a bid to have a U.K. court throw out an antitrust lawsuit filed by Nokia Oyj over the price of liquid-crystal displays.

A judge ruled in favor of Nokia in a London court today, allowing the company to proceed with the price-fixing dispute that has been going on since 2009.

The European Union fined five companies, including AU Optronics Corp., 648.9 million euros ($859.6 million) in 2010 for fixing the price of liquid-crystal display panels. Sharp Corp., Samsung and five other manufacturers in December agreed to pay $538.6 million to settle U.S. antitrust claims filed by indirect purchasers.

“We are pleased that the High Court rejected cartel participants’ attempts to strike out these suits on procedural grounds,” Mark Durrant, a spokesman for Espoo, Finland-based Nokia, said in an e-mailed statement. “We will continue to pursue the actions against cartel participants.”

Nokia in 2009 filed lawsuits in the U.K. and U.S. over the price fixing. Maria Ivy, a spokeswoman for Samsung’s lawyers at Covington & Burling LLP in London, declined to comment. Caroline Livesey, a spokeswoman for Hitachi’s lawyers at Allen & Overy LLP, also declined to comment.

The case is Nokia v. AU Optronics, High Court of Justice Chancery Division, No. HC09C04421.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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