Hell hath no fury like a mobile-phone owner scorned.

In this case, LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony are among lithium-ion battery makers that have been subject to at least 10 class-action lawsuits alleging that the manufacturers engaged in price-fixing practices to keep prices up, the New Jersey Law Journal reports.

The group of companies subject to the lawsuit control as much as 90 percent of the cells in items such as mobile phones, cameras and laptop computers. Many of the claims were filed in California and New Jersey, where many of the Asia-based companies have US domestic divisions.

Even though the lawsuit does not target electric vehicle batteries directly, the allegations are topical because they involve lithium-ion battery costs. Those costs are considered one of the major hurdles electric-drive vehicles need to clear in order to make their cars price-competitive with conventional vehicles. Analysts such as McKinsey say the price of lithium-ion battery packs used in electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids may fall by as much as 70 percent by 2025 as manufacturing processes improve.

In all, lithium-ion batteries generated about $16 billion in revenue in 2012, up 14 percent from last year.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      $16 billion in revenue doesn't seem outrageous. If they hit $20 billion then they become "evil" corporations that are only out to make money AND then the government needs to start subsidizing them.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        I was curious when a corporation became evil! For some reason, Apple isn't evil (last I checked, although if they are now, we can send this post down the trusty memory hole), and not only are they gigantic in size, but their profit margin is 5 - 10 times greater than that of the evil oil corporations. I wonder how one gets an evil exemption?
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          "I wonder how one gets an evil exemption?" I believe it has something to do with how cool your employee lunchroom is. There is also a waiver if your CEO works and has a cubicle mixed in amongst the regular employees.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gee, i thought the $2,000-$20,000 per kw-hr price tag for electronic gadget replacement batteries was suspect, lol. 3.4 watt hours for $49.99 for that genuine sony battery, or you can buy an aftermarket replacement for under $5. Even for the $5 off-brand battery, you're paying over $1,000/kw-hr. Some of that cost is in the case. But the cell itself costs around $300-$700kw/hr at most, and the rest is markup. No wonder the less educated think that replacing electric car batteries are going to be akin to buying a new home!
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Evil 'Big Battery'. :D
      Roy_H
      • 2 Years Ago
      I this is true, that the battery prices are artificially high, and all the offenders are Asian, then it opens the market for US made batteries. This should be taken advantage of by US manufacturers instead of trying to force Asian manufacturers to keep prices low and shut out local competition.
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you are looking for the best brand new laptop battery at the reasonable price, you have come to the right place. We provide hight quality laptop batteries for Low Price with High Service, and we are working hard to make your online shopping Experience Easy, Fast, Convenient and Safe.
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you are looking for the best brand new laptop battery at the reasonable price, you have come to the right place. We provide hight quality laptop batteries for Low Price with High Service, and we are working hard to make your online shopping Experience Easy, Fast, Convenient and Safe. http://www.ebattery.com.au
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, and yes, these are the exploding batteries that have killed so many people too. (sarcasm).