Toshiba Found Guilty in LCD Price-Fixing Scheme
Jury rules Toshiba conspired with LG, Samsung, Sharp, Hitachi and other makers of LCD TV and computer displays; assesses $87M fine, which could be trebled.
A San Francisco jury ruled today that Toshiba is guilty of a price-fixing scheme that included Samsung, Sharp, Hitachi Displays, LG and several other manufacturers/marketers of LCD panels, including TVs and computer displays.
The class-action lawsuit (TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, No. 07-md-01827) was filed in 2007 in the Northern District of California.
The jury found Toshiba liable to manufacturers for $17 million and to consumers for $70 million. The Japanese electronics company could face treble damages under U.S. antitrust laws.
Toshiba doesn’t expect to pay a thing towards the fine, even if trebled to around $260 million, because its co-conspirators already settled out of court for $553 million, paid out to the government, consumers and OEM customers.
“Given credits for settlements by other defendants, Toshiba expects that it will not have to pay any damages as a result of this verdict, even after trebling under U.S. antitrust laws,” Toshiba said in a statement.
In any case, Toshiba continues to proclaim its innocence:
Toshiba has consistently maintained that there was no illegal activity on its part in the LCD business in the United States, and Toshiba continues to hold that view. While Toshiba appreciates the jury’s time and effort, Toshiba believes that the jury’s verdict is in error as to the finding of wrongdoing on Toshiba’s part. Toshiba plans to pursue all available legal avenues to correct that finding.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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