LCD Price Fixing Settlement Tops Half a Billion Dollars

Paul Lilly

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman this week announced a $553 million multi-state settlement with seven major technology corporations accused of illegally conspiring with each other to artificially inflate prices for liquid crystal display (LCD) screens used in a variety of consumer and business applications, including televisions, computer monitors, and laptop computers.

LCD makers named in the settlement include Chi Mei Innolux Corporation, Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd., Epson Imaging Devices Corporation, HannStar Display Corporation, Hitachi Displays, Ltd., Samsung Electronics Col, Ltd., Sharp Corporation, and certain affiliated entities of each company.

"This price-fixing scheme manipulated the playing field for businesses that abide by the rules, and left consumers to pay artificially higher costs for televisions, computers and other electronics," said Attorney General Schneiderman . "Protecting the integrity of the marketplace is the only way to ensure the best outcome for New York’s consumers. That is why my office will aggressively police anti-competitive practices and hold accountable those who violate the law."

According to New York's complaint, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese LCD makers conspired with their U.S. affiliates in a conspiracy to fix prices and sold into New York millions of LCD panels from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2006 at prices inflated by the cartel.

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