LCD makers to pay $388M in price fixing suit

Sharp Aquos LCD TVs

Samsung, Sharp, LG, and five other flat-screen display manufacturers have agreed to pay a total of $388 million to settle a civil class action suit brought against them by the U.S. Department of Justice over LCD price fixing. Japans’s largest LCD manufacturer—Sharp—will pay the largest penalty, $105 million. Samsung will pay $72 million, with Taiwan’s CMI paying up $78 million and South Korea’s LG paying $75 million.

The story was broken by Bloomberg.

All companies involved in the settlement deny any wrongdoing. If the settlement is approved on December 19, it should be the final chapter in the long-running litigation over flat-panel price fixing. The companies have also faced penalties from South Korea and the European Union, and the cases have seen the indictment of nearly two dozen executives from LCD manufacturers, including prison time for selected executives from LG, Chunghwa, Sharp, and Hitachi.

The U.S. Justice Department probe into LCD price fixing got started back in 2007, with the DOJ laying charges against a number of LCD manufacturers the following year. The alleged price fixing took place between 2001 and 2006, with the companies working together to set prices for LCD displays used in computers, televisions, and mobile devices. The pricing cartel allegedly impacted many markets and a number of major companies, including Dell, Apple, Nokia, and Motorola.

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