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Samsung, Sharp, Hitachi, Epson to Pay $553M for Price-Fixing LCDs

After a five-year investigation, Samsung, Sharp, Hitachi, Epson and three other manufacturers agree to pay $553 million to settle price-fixing claims for LCDs.

Samsung, Sharp, Hitachi, Epson and three other makers of LCDs have agreed to pay more than $553 million to settle price-fixing claims on TVs, notebook computers and monitors, according to Reuters.

According to the article, the settlement (Case: TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 07-md-01827) is based upon lawsuits that claimed the manufacturers conspired to inflate prices and stifle competition between 1999 and 2006.

The agreement concludes a five-year investigation by authorities from Japan, Korea, the European Union and the United States. The article says many companies and executives have already pleaded guilty to criminal antitrust violations and paid more than $890 million in fines.

The article says the latest payout includes $538.6 million to resolve claims by "indirect" purchasers that bought televisions and computers with thin film transistor LCDs, as well as claims by eight states: Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

It also includes payments of more than $14.7 million by five of the companies to settle civil fine and penalty law claims by the states.

Accordingly, the payments are:
  • Samsung = $240 million
  • Sharp = $115.5 million
  • Chimei Innolux = $110.3 million.
  • Hitachi Displays = $39 million
  • HannStar Display = $25.7 million
  • Chunghwa Picture Tubes = $5.3 million
  • Epson Imaging Devices = $2.9 million.
The state penalties include $6 million by Sharp, $5.7 million by Chimei, and smaller amounts by Epson, HannStar and Hitachi, according to the article.

Other defendants have yet to settle, including Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp, one of the largest LCD panel manufacturers; South Korea's LG Display Co and Toshiba Corp.

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Article Topics

News · Displays · TVs · Legal · Sharp · Legal · Lcd · Hitachi · Lawsuit · Samsung · Epson · · All topics

About the Author

Jason Knott, Editor, CE Pro
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

1 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by 39 Cent Stamp  on  12/28  at  11:01 PM

Finally i have an answer as to why an inferior product cost more than plasma. I would look at pricing on LCD and plasma and then see the HUGE difference in picture quality and wonder what the hell was going on.

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