Add one more name to the list of high-profile Asian brands that have recently been exposed for LCD price fixing. LG, Sharp and Chungwa are now joined by Hitachi, which admitted Wednesday to price fixing, and will pay a $31 million fine.
According to the United States Department of Justice, A U.S. District Court in San Francisco charged Hitachi with a one-count felony charge for fixing prices on the LCD panels sold to Dell by conspiring with other companies in Japan, Korea and the United States to sell those panels at an agreed-upon price. Hitachi struck a plea bargain with the court, which, if approved, will see the company paying out $31 million in fines to the U.S. government.
That’s a pittance compared to what the previously convicted companies have been sentenced to: Chungwa coughed up $65 million, Sharp forked $120 million, and LG paid the second highest fine in the history of the U.S. attorney general’s antitrust division, $400 million. Execs from the companies faced additional fines, and some are even serving prison sentences.
“This case should send a strong message to multinational companies operating in the United States that when it comes to enforcing the U.S. antitrust laws we mean business,” assistant attorney general Scott D. Hammond said in a statement.
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