(Bloomberg) – HP Inc. received $ 439 million in damages against Quanta Storage Inc. and its U.S. subsidiary after a federal judge awarded the jury prize for damage caused by a widespread optical drive system tripled.
In October, a Houston jury asked Quanta to pay HP $ 176 million in damages. District judge David Hittner said Friday that Quanta had given no reason why the jury's results should be put on hold. He tripled the antitrust damages to $ 528 million before deducting the $ 89 million for settlements paid by the other companies that HP was accused of participating in the pricing program.
Other hard drive manufacturers such as Hitachi-LG, Sony, and Panasonic have partnered with HP over the past decade. Only the Taiwanese company Quanta wanted to go to court.
Andrew Lusby, a Quanta lawyer, said Friday the company had not yet commented on the triple damage at that time.
The company had argued to Hittner that tripling the damage would violate the constitutional ban on excessive punitive damage. However, the judge rejected this argument, noting that the Cartel Act tripled awards as damages instead of punitive damages.
"HP hopes that this ruling will send a meaningful message to suppliers around the world that there are serious consequences if you violate US antitrust laws," said HP lawyer Alex B. Roberts in an email after Hittner decided.
The case is Hewlett-Packard Co. v Quanta Storage, 4: 18-762, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).
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