LG, Sharp, Chunghwa to Pay $585 Million for Price Fixing
LG's fine was second-largest fine ever handed out by the Justice Department's antitrust division.
LG, Sharp and Chunghwa have agreed to pay $585 million in fines after pleading guilty to charges of price fixing, according to the AFP.
The companies, charged back in 2006, worked together to set prices on transistor LCDs used in computer monitors, notebooks, televisions, mobile phones, and various electronics, according to the antitrust unit of the Justice Department.
Apple, Dell and Motorola were among the companies affected by the price fixing between 2001 and 2006, antitrust regulators say.
LG was hit with the largest fine — $400 million — the second-highest criminal fine ever imposed by the Justice Department’s antitrust division, according to the report. Swiss pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche was hit with a $500 million fine in 1999 for fixing vitamin prices, the AFP says.
Sharp will pay a $120 million fine, and Chunghwa will pay $65 million. Sharp released a statement saying “after carefully taking into consideration the applicable laws and regulations, the facts, and other factors, Sharp has decided that the best possible course of action would be to conclude the aforementioned agreement.”
“Today’s charges and criminal fines emphasize the commitment of the Department of Justice to crack down on international cartels,” says attorney general Michael Mukasey.
Assistant attorney general Thomas Barnett says the price fixing “affected millions of American consumers who use computers, cell phones and numerous other household electronics every day.”
“These convictions, and the significant fines they carry, should send a clear message that the Antitrust Division will vigorously investigate and prosecute illegal cartels, regardless of where they are located,” he added.
Steve Crowe has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Steve at [email protected]
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