In AT&T Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. Feb. 14, 2013), the Ninth Circuit took up one of the indirect-purchaser opt-out cases in the LCDs price-fixing matter, and held as follows:
To the extent a defendant’s conspiratorial conduct is sufficiently connected to California, and is not “slight and casual,” the application of California law to that conduct is “neither arbitrary nor fundamentally unfair,” and the application of California law does not violate that defendant’s rights under the Due Process Clause. See Allstate Ins. Co. v. Hague, 449 U.S. 302, 312–13 (1981).
Slip op. at 4. The Court reinstated the action, which sought recovery for purchases made outside California of mobile handsets with price-fixed LCD screens. Id. at 8-17. The opinion addressed only the due process question, and not the choice-of-law question. See id. at 15. If California law is ultimately chosen, this could allow nationwide indirect purchaser class actions in cases where the conspiracy originated from or was substantially connected to this state.
The opinion focuses on the Cartwright Act claim, but it has this footnote on the UCL:
We focus on Plaintiffs’ claims under the California Cartwright Act, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 16700–16770 (Cartwright Act or Act), but the principles articulated herein apply equally to Plaintiffs’ claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200 et seq. (UCL). The UCL provides a cause of action for harms caused by “any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice.” Id. It thereby “‘borrows’ violations from other laws by making them independently actionable as unfair competitive practices.” Korea Supply Co. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 63 P.3d 937, 943 (Cal. 2003). Because a violation of the Cartwright Act is, by definition, actionable under the UCL, we do not belabor our analysis in this case with respect to Plaintiffs’ UCL claims.
Slip op. at 4 n.1 (emphasis added).
See this post for more on the UCL's extraterritorial reach.