LCD Makers Accused of Price Fixing (Again)

Paul Lilly

Following an investigation into the business practices of several LCD makers, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has gone and sued a number of companies on allegations of price fixing, a charge he contends has been going on for a decade.

"Our investigation shows that an illegal cartel eliminated competition in the marketplace for LCD screens, made its own secret decisions to boost prices, and then took steps to make those high prices stick," Cuomo said . "As a result, hard-pressed New York cities, towns, schools, and hospitals spent hundreds of millions of dollars on LCD screens affected by the illegal conspiracy. My office is bringing this case to get those illegal overcharges back."

The lawsuit accuses top-level executives, including CEOs, of attending secret meetings on a quarterly, and sometimes monthly basis to set minimum prices, price targets and increases, and prices to be charged to specific manufacturers. Cuomo's lawsuit also accuses LCD makers of exchanging production information to control output, and coordinating messages to cover-up the entire scheme.

Defendants listed in the suit include AU Optronics, Chi Mei Corporation, CMO Japan, Hitachi, LG, Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba.

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