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Nokia Sues LG, Samsung, Others over LCD Pricing

Finland’s Nokia, still the world’s largest maker of mobile handsets, has filed suit against South Korean electronics giants Samsung and LG claiming the companies conspired to keep prices for LCD displays artificially high and reap profits. According to Bloomberg, the suit was filed on November 25th in a San Francisco federal court and is based on both U.S. federal law and California state law; the suit claims LCD display makers unlawfully colluded to inflate the prices of LCD displays above the level they would have sold for in a competitive market. Nokia wants the court to order to stop to the price fixing, as well as unspecified damages.

Nokia N900

Other companies named in Nokia’s suit include Hitachi, Sharp and Chunghwa Picture Tubes. Nokia’s lawsuit follows on the heels of a similar lawsuit brought against many of the same companies by AT&&T, also in regard to LCD price fixing. Both suits rely on a U.S. Justice Department investigation of price fixing in the LCD market that saw Hitachi, LG, Chunghwa, and Sharp plead guilty to pricing fixing and agreeing to pay almost $600 million in criminal fines. Executives from some of the companies even landed jail time.

Nokia has apparently also filed a similar suit in the United Kingdom.

The U.S. Justice Department investigation primarily centered in LCD displays used in notebook computers, with companies harmed by the collusion including computer makers like Dell and Apple. The new allegations seem to focus on smaller displayed used in mobile phones and portable media players.

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