SAN FRANCISCO: HP Inc will get to keep all the cash, factories and patents Quanta Storage Inc was ordered to turn over to satisfy a US$439mil antitrust judgment from 2019, a federal appeals court ruled.
The Taiwanese disk drive maker was ordered to surrender almost all its assets before its appellate challenge had played out because it failed to post an US$85 million bond to prevent early collection of the crippling award.
The appellate court did agree to give it more time to comply.
“Quanta risked bet-the-company litigation and lost, so the district court ordered it to hand over the company, ” a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals in New Orleans said last Friday in a 21-page ruling.
Quanta tried repeatedly in April to delay HP’s push to collect on the judgment. It claimed that coronavirus travel and business restrictions in Taiwan and China, where most of its executives and factories are, prevented it from posting the bond while complying with Taiwanese regulations on asset transfers by publicly traded companies. HP said Quanta was using the pandemic as a ploy to dissipate assets that could be used to satisfy the judgement.
“It is not apparent from the record that the district court considered the amount of time it would take for Quanta to complete the asset transfer process required by Taiwanese law, ” the panel said.
HP said it was pleased that the panel agreed with the trial judge and jury.
“Quanta violated US antitrust laws by conspiring to fix prices, ” Alex Roberts, one of HP’s lawyers, said in an email.
“That conduct cannot go unpunished. HP took them to task for those violations, and now we look forward to ensuring they comply promptly” with the turnover orders.”
Quanta said in an exchange filing in Taiwan on Sunday that the company will file a petition for the case to be reheard en banc.
It will also discuss with its lawyers the procedure of the US Supreme Court appeal in the case. The impact on the operations is yet to be evaluated, Quanta said. — Bloomberg
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