Thu, Dec 08, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Eight panel makers pay US$388m in US antitrust case


Sharp Corp, Samsung Electronics Co and six other makers of LCD panels used in computers and televisions agreed to pay US$388 million to settle price-fixing claims by direct purchasers of the products.

Sharp, Japan’s largest panel maker, paid US$105 million; Samsung, the world’s largest TV maker, paid US$82.7 million; and Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子), Taiwan’s largest maker of display panels, paid US$78 million, according to filings on Monday in the US federal court in San Francisco.

The companies allegedly fixed prices of the panels, driving up prices for purchasers who bought the screens or goods containing them from 1999 to 2006, according to a class action, or group lawsuit, filed in 2007.

The litigation stemmed from a US Department of Justice investigation that led to guilty pleas by LG Display Co, Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) and Sharp. The companies agreed in 2008 and 2009 to pay US$585 million in criminal fines, the US said.

In the class action accord, the companies denied wrongdoing. A federal judge gave preliminary approval to the eight settlements on Oct. 4, according to court records. A final approval hearing is scheduled for Dec. 19.

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