LCD makers to pay for price-fixing

New York | Updated: Dec 29 2011, 08:19am hrs
Samsung Electronics, Sharp Corp and five other makers of liquid crystal displays (LCD) agreed to pay more than $553 million to settle consumer and state regulatory claims that they conspired to fix prices for LCD panels in televisions, notebook computers and monitors.

The settlement is the latest arising from lawsuits alleging the creation of an international cartel designed to illegally inflate prices and stifle competition in LCD panels between 1999 and 2006, affecting billions of dollars of US commerce.

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.

The accord calls for Samsung to pay $240 million, Sharp $115.5 million and Taiwan-based Chimei Innolux $110.3 million, settlement papers filed on Friday with the US district court in San Francisco show. Hitachi will pay $39 million, HannStar Display, $25.7 million; Chunghwa Picture Tubes, $5.3 million and Epson Imaging Devices, $2.9 million, the court documents show.

The settling firms also agreed to establish antitrust compliance programmes and to help prosecute other defendants.