On September 29, 2021, the Ninth Circuit reversed a trial court’s nationwide class-certification order in an antitrust suit against Qualcomm, a leading computer-chip manufacturer. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed an amicus brief in the case arguing that the class’s massive size rendered it unmanageable. The plaintiffs alleged that Qualcomm behaved anticompetitively by forcing cellphone makers to pay inflated royalties to Qualcomm to license certain patents. As a result, consumers allegedly paid more for their cellphones than they would have had Qualcomm charged reasonable royalties. But as the Second Circuit emphasized in its decision reversing class certification, cellphone purchasers have no direct dealings with Qualcomm. And the antitrust laws of 22 States provide that only those who deal directly with Qualcomm have standing to sue. As a result, the California district court improperly certified the class by applying California law to the claims of all cellphone purchasers in all 50 States.


9th Circuit decision

9th Circuit brief