Three firms guilty of fixing LCD prices

LG Display Co., Sharp Corp. and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. ordered to pay $585 million in fines

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  November 13, 2008

Asian firms LG Display Co., Sharp Corp. and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. have admitted guilt in conspiring to drive up the prices of LCD screens used in computers, televisions and other electronics devices.

In a plea deal filed yesterday, the firms agreed to cooperate in an antitrust investigation headed by the US Justice Department and pay a total of $585 million in fines.

"These price-fixing conspiracies affected millions of American consumers who use computers, cell phones and numerous other household electronics every day," said assistant attorney general Thomas O. Barnett at a press briefing.

"By conspiring to drive up the price of LCD panels, consumers were forced to pay more for these products."

South-Korean LG Display is the world’s second largest manufacturer of LCDs. The company, and its unit in America, will pay a $400 million fine for their role in fixing prices of certain LCD panels from September 2001 to June 2006.

Chunghwa, based in Taiwan, will pay $65 million for also getting involved in the price-fixing scheme.

Japanese-based Sharp will have to shell out $120 million their involvement in separate conspiracies to fix the price of certain LCD panels sold to Dell, Motorola and Apple between 2001 and 2006. These were used in computer monitors, laptops, Motorola Razr mobile phones and Apple iPod portable music players.
In a company statement, Sharp mentions that it “…has decided that the best possible course of action would be to conclude the aforementioned agreement.”

3533 days ago

is it only me or does anyone else thing that apple has done something similar with the iphone? Not releasing it in mass hence driving up prices to almost 3 times as much(or more?) in some cases...

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