China Court Hears Antitrust Suit Against Sony

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As the international business community awaits finalization and enactment of China’s antimonopoly law, a Chinese court is already hearing antitrust charges against a Sony Corp. joint venture. On January 17, 2007, The Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court heard charges by Tsum

(Sichuan) Technology Company Ltd. that Sony and Shanghai Suoguang Electronics Co. Ltd. had engaged in unfair competition by designing their popular digital cameras to shut down when competing batteries are installed. Sony argued that its InfoLITHIUM technology communicates

between the battery and its camera, and asserts that it has the right under Chinese law to use its own batteries in its camera products. Sony also defended on the ground that Tsum is not a proper complainant based on limitations in its business license. Tsum claims that the technology unfairly

discriminates against competing battery manufacturers and excludes them from competition. Tsum is seeking damages and a judicial order preventing the Sony joint venture from using the InfoLITHIUM technology. The court did not rule at the close of the hearing, but took the matter under

consideration.

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