Three senior electronics executives from Taiwan and one from South Korea have agreed to serve prison terms in the US for their roles in a price-fixing conspiracy, the US Department of Justice said on Thursday.
The executives of Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (CPT, 中華映管) and LG Display Co Ltd agreed to serve prison terms ranging from six to nine months and pay criminal fines of between US$20,000 and US$50,000, the department said in a statement.
The fines and prison sentences came in a plea agreement under which the four agreed to plead guilty to a global conspiracy to fix prices of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels used in televisions, computers and other devices.
The plea agreements, which remain subject to the approval of a US District Court in San Francisco, come two months after the Justice Department imposed fines totaling US$585 million on LG, Chunghwa and Sharp Corp of Japan.
“These cases involve the first Taiwanese nationals to face imprisonment in the United States for an antitrust offense,” said Deborah Garza, acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Antitrust Division.
“The Department of Justice is committed to holding accountable all conspirators who harm American consumers, no matter where they live or where they commit the crime,” she added.
The department said Chang Suk-chung was vice president of monitor sales at South Korean firm LG at the time of the conspiracy. He agreed to serve seven months in prison and pay a US$25,000 fine.
Frank Lin (林鎮弘), who holds dual Taiwan-US nationality and was CPT's chairman and chief executive at the time of the conspiracy, agreed to serve nine months in prison and pay a US$50,000 fine.
Liu Chih-chun (劉治軍), CPT's former vice president of LCD sales, agreed to serve seven months in prison and pay a US$30,000 fine.
Brian Lee, another former vice president of LCD sales at CPT, agreed to serve six months in prison and pay a US$20,000 fine.