Sat, Dec 11, 2010 - Page 12 News List

AUO price-fixing trial to begin next year: US judge

Staff writer, with CNA

A US federal court in San Francisco decided on Thursday that a trial regarding alleged price-fixing by flat-panel maker AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) will begin next year.

The federal court issued the ruling after a motion hearing, but did not set an exact date for the trial following arguments made by the lawyers defending AUO and prosecutors.

Three present and former executives, along with AUO, its US subsidiary and other senior managers were indicted in June by the US Department of Justice for conspiring to fix the prices of TFT LCD panels from Sept. 14, 2001 to Dec. 1, 2006.

AUO chief executive officer Chen Lai-juh (陳來助), vice chairman Chen Hsuan-bin (陳炫彬) and former board member and executive vice president Hui Hsiung (熊暉) have been barred from leaving the US by a US district court in California after they traveled to the US to plead their case in July.

The three present and former AUO executives all appeared at the hearing.

AUO has denied the anti-trust allegations and has vowed to fight the charges, while repeatedly calling for the court to allow the three to return to Taiwan.

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