AU Optronics Corp., LG Display, and Toshiba Corp. have all three agreed to pay a combined $571 million in damages to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the three were involved in a scheme to artificially drive up the price of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. That's on top of over $550 million collected from seven other manufacturers earlier in the year, which tallies up to over $1.1 billion in class-action penalties.
Out of the three defendants in this latest settlement, LG Display will pay the biggest sum, forking over $380 million in damages, $19 million of which is earmarked for civil penalties to state governments, The Wall Street Journal reports. AU Optronics Corp. will shell out $170 million and Toshiba Corp. will cut a check for $21 million.
Joseph Alioto, one of the leading attorneys in the case, claims "this is the largest consumer class-action price fixing settlement ever." According to Alito, all that money will funnel down to consumers and companies.
"Companies who fill out the forms could receive substantial amounts," Alioto told WSJ, referring to a system that will be setup to make sure the funds go to where they need to go.
The price fixing case dates back several years to when nearly a dozen companies allegedly held secret meetings in hotel conference rooms, tea rooms, and karaoke bars in Taiwan to inflate LCD panel prices.