Disappointing news today for plaintiffs in a price-fixing suit against LCD flat-panel manufacturers: Judge Susan Illston slapped down (.pdf) their attempt to compel Samsung to come forward and confirm that it’s an informant for the federal government in a parallel criminal antitrust prosecution.
The plaintiffs had sought an order that would force Samsung to cooperate with them if the company is already cooperating with the United States as the government’s “amnesty candidate” (i.e. the first to cut a deal).
But maybe there’s a silver lining to the denial, in that the plaintiffs have probably put the amnesty candidate/Samsung on notice: Illston wrote that if the candidate eventually comes forward, she will “certainly” keep in mind the plaintiffs’ points — that cooperation becomes markedly less valuable the more dollars and hours the plaintiffs put into the case.
— Evan Hill