Justice Department indicts president of Taiwan LCD maker

justice department indicts president of taiwan lcd maker hannstar monitor

A federal grand jury in San Francisco has returned an indictment against the current president of Taiwan’s Hannstar Display Corporation, Ding Hui Joe (a.k.a. David Joe) for participating in a global conspiracy to fix prices for TFT-LCD display panels from September 2001 through January 2006. The indictment makes Joe the 22nd executive to be charged in the broad-ranging conspiracy, which has also seen indictments, fines, and even jail time for executives from companies like LG, Chunghwa, Sharp, Hitachi, and others.

According to the one-count felony charge, Joe participated in so-called “Crystal Meetings” held in hotel rooms in Taipei as which manufacturers exchanged information on sales of TFT-LCD displays and agreed to fix pricing for the products. Joe faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, although the fine can be increased to double the gain derived from the anticompetitive activity if that would be greater than the statutory fine. The Justice Department alleges that as a result of the conspiracy, competition in the LCD market was suppressed, leading to higher prices being paid by leading computer and television manufacturers like Dell, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard…and, of course, those costs were passed right along to consumers.

Back in June, Hannstar plead guilty to pricing fixing and agreed to pay a $30 million fine, and former Hannstar director Jui Hung Wu pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme, agreeing to serve a seven-month prison term and pay a $200,000 fine, as well as assist the Justice Department with its ongoing investigation.

The indictment against Joe is just the latest in a string of fines and charges against LCD manufacturers; so far, the Justice Department has netted almost $900 million in fines from manufacturers, and charged 22 executives at eight companies for participating in the scheme.

Many of the companies involved with the price-fixing scheme face lawsuits from gear-makers like Dell and Nokia. Early last year, executives from LG and Chunghwa pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme and drew jail time as well as substantial personal fines.

Product Review

The Asus ZenBook 14 is a tiny notebook that gets lost in the crowd

The ZenBook 14 aims to be the smallest 14-inch notebook around, and it succeeds thanks to some tiny bezels. Performance and battery life are good, but the notebook lacks a standout feature other than size.

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

LG’s most affordable OLED TVs now come with $170 to $260 in gift cards

Trusted electronics retailer ABT is offering LG's most affordable OLED TV, the B8 series with $170 and $260 gift cards for the 55- and 65-inch models, respectively. While the OLED TVs don't often go on sale gift cards like this are…

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.

MacBook Pro battery replacement: Everything you need to know

Looking for a new battery for your MacBook Pro? It's important you know what to look for, what model you have, and what options Apple gives you! We'll cover everything you need to know about Apple MacBook Pro battery replacement.

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.

Acer Swift 7 vs. Apple MacBook Air

The Acer Swift 7 accomplishes its goal of being the world's thinnest notebook, and it's well-built to boot. But is that enough to take on the Apple MacBook Air in terms of being the better to actually use?

Asus ZenBook 14 UX433 vs. Dell XPS 13

The Asus ZenBook 14 UX433 has some incredibly tiny display bezels, in an effort to jam a 14-inch notebook into a 13-inch chassis. That pits it against the Dell XPS 13, the icon of small clamshells.

Intel’s 28-core monster Xeon CPU might cost upwards of $4,000

Intel's new-generation 28-core Xeon CPU will debut with a hefty price tag. Although not quite as expensive as some of its predecessors, early pre-order pricing has it costing between $4,000 and $5,000.