SANTA ANA, Calif. - A federal judge said yesterday that he might toss an antitrust lawsuit MGA Entertainment filed against Mattel Inc. in the latest spat between the two toy makers battling for supremacy in the fashion doll market.
District Judge David O. Carter issued a tentative ruling dismissing the suit, saying it is based on the same facts as prior litigation that awarded MGA nearly $310 million. Carter said he would probably let MGA re-file for any alleged anticompetitive conduct since August 2010.
The judge cautioned, however, that he has been known to change his mind about 20 percent of the time after hearing oral arguments, and he took the case under consideration.
MGA, which makes the pouty-lipped Bratz dolls, filed its antitrust suit against Mattel, which makes Barbie, in February.
In April, a jury in that case awarded $85 million to MGA and found that Mattel stole the company’s trade secrets. Carter later added punitive damages and attorney fees, bringing the total to nearly $310 million.
Mattel, which had originally sued MGA over the Bratz dolls, is appealing the verdict.