In re Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price

2005 | Cited 0 times | D. Maine | July 1, 2005


The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has transferred this case to this Court for consideration in connection with the music compact disc cases previously transferred.

One of the corporate disclosure statements filed by the defendants in the Northern District of New York reveals that one of the defendants, Universal City Studios, LLLP, is "wholly and indirectly owned by NBC Universal, Inc." In turn, "NBC Universal, Inc. is owned by General Electric Corporation, a publicly traded U.S. corporation, and Vivendi Universal, S.A., a publicly held French company."

I own stock in General Electric Corporation. Although Advisory Opinion 57 of the Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct states that I must disqualify myself if the subsidiary is wholly owned by a corporation in which I own stock, it appears that General Electric Corporation does not wholly own the relevant subsidiaries. The Compendium of Selected Opinions provides that "when a parent company does not own all or a majority of stock in the subsidiary, the judge should determine whether the parent has control of the subsidiary, necessitating recusal. The 10% disclosure requirement in Fed. R. App. P. 26.1 is a benchmark measure of parental control."

Accordingly, by July 25, 2005, the defendant Universal City Studios, LLLP shall file with the Court a statement whether General Electric Corporation owns 10% or more of NBC Universal, Inc., the parent of Universal City Studios, LLLP, so that I may determine whether recusal is required.


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