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Executives involved in the case get fines and prison terms of up to nine months

The LCD industry was rocked by a scandal in late 2008 when executives from some of the largest panel makers in the world pled guilty to conspiring to fix prices. The price fixing led to inflated costs for displays used by firms like Dell in its notebook computers.

In November of 2008, executives from Sharp, LG, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes all pled guilty to price fixing. The largest fine imposed was placed on LG and totaled $400 million with Sharp said to be paying $85 million in fines.

Today reports are coming in that in addition to the fines levied against the corporations; the executives that participated in the scheme are being individually fined and sentenced to prison time here in America.

DigitalTrends reports that the former Chairman and CEO of Chunghwa, Chieng-Hon Lin was hit with an individual fine of $50,000 and a sentence of 9-months in an American prison. The other executives involved in the scandal received prison terms ranging from six to nine months each.

Deborah A. Garza, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, said in a statement, "These cases involve the first Taiwanese nationals to face imprisonment in the United States for an antitrust offense. 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."



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Regional cable monopolies
By AntiM on 1/20/2009 1:01:31 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
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."


So when are they going to go after the cable TV companies that have divided the country into regional monopolies that don't compete with each other?




RE: Regional cable monopolies
By acase on 1/20/2009 1:11:06 PM , Rating: 4
Damn good point!


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By metasin on 1/20/2009 1:59:00 PM , Rating: 5
I believe the difference is that those cable monopolies were created in conjunction with the state and local governments.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By Solandri on 1/20/2009 3:53:25 PM , Rating: 5
I don't have a problem with that. But I remember in Boston the issue went to court because Continental Cablevision (now Time Warner I believe) contracted to provide service to something like 95% of Boston in exchange for a monopoly. The 5% was supposed to account for locations which were too difficult to wire up, or which lacked sufficient infrastructure to add cable (e.g. old apartment buildings with no easy way to add cable to each unit).

The city expected that 5% to be scattered throughout. Instead, Continental "saved up" the 5% and used almost all of it on the entire Chinatown district. The area is primarily lower income, and most of the customers there would've gotten just the basic packages, not the bread and butter pay channels. So they got their monopoly, and they didn't cover one of the city's districts, and they blocked the city from hiring anyone else to give the area coverage.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By 16nm on 1/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Regional cable monopolies
By FITCamaro on 1/20/2009 4:12:00 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly. The federal government mandated those monopolies. All in an effort to "increase competition". Apparently when the federal government gets involved, competition means "you have one choice".


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By foolsgambit11 on 1/20/2009 7:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
If the federal government mandated that cable providers had to share their infrastructure (a common carrier arrangement, like with phones) it was assumed that would delay development of the communications infrastructure. A company won't invest in a big capital project unless it looks like they'll get their money's worth. The federal government did what it does best - it helped shape the market by creating economic incentives. There will most likely come a time when the government will mandate shared use of the infrastructure, following an arc similar to the deregulation of the telephone system. That time may be upon us, or it may not - there are still constant updates to the infrastructure to boost data rates. Once we've pretty much maximized the data carrying capacity, not just of the coax link to each person's house, but to each hub in the network, then deregulation will make sense - after, of course, the cable companies have payed off their investment in that infrastructure development through protected operation.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By jay401 on 1/20/2009 11:23:26 PM , Rating: 4
" The federal government did what it does best "

What it "does best" is meddle in the marketplace and ruin natural competition, which results in exactly this type of impropriety.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By xsilver on 1/21/2009 7:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
wasnt the OPs point though that had the government not meddled at all, nobody would have cable because no company would want to invest in infrastructure without knowing return investment.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By Regs on 1/21/2009 12:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, like when Bill Clinton "made" all those loan Co's approve all those low-income mortgages. They should make policy expiration dates - similar to their own patent laws. Times change and they forget their policies havent.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By foolsgambit11 on 1/20/2009 7:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree that it looks like collusion may be at work among the cable companies with coverage areas. But it need not be collusion. When there's already a cable provider in a region, it doesn't make much sense to another cable provider to invest in all of the infrastructure needed to compete with the first company. It's just good business sense not to enter saturated markets.

If the government mandated some kind of common carrier licensing system, so that the cable cables were available to competing providers, then you could blame the cable companies. But for now, you'd have to blame the government's policies, which were put in place to protect cable companies' heavy capital investments.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By rudy on 1/20/2009 2:00:21 PM , Rating: 5
I agree , it is getting old how countries ignore internal problems and go after foriegn companies to raise cash. Such as EU with M$ and the LCD and Ram cases in the US. Come on we know how they run business in Asia price fixing is probably going on in every industry they monopolize. But at least if we fix the ones that are bases in our country we may create a lasting fix. Where as all that will happen in the LCD case is they will be careful not to keep the records around next year.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By TheSpaniard on 1/20/2009 10:27:21 PM , Rating: 3
yes the price fixing in pharma is working out great for us...


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By codeThug on 1/20/2009 6:16:54 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
So when are they going to go after the cable TV companies

WTF?

How about the Oil companies and the Wall Street Oil speculators. It seems most people are easily distracted from the real greed mongers.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By mdogs444 on 1/20/2009 6:33:45 PM , Rating: 4
Seeing as how Oil companies have a roughly 8% profit margin, and Oil Speculators have been losing their tails while prices dropped 70%, I'm not sure what your referring to. Maybe you can enlighten us?

Don't forget to address the point that when gasoline was $1/gallon, oil companies were losing money and some were even going out of business. If you want to talk about real greed - then refer to your local, state, and federal politicians who want to raise taxes on commodities after we start conserving. While we decrease our standard of living - they feel they can keep theirs the same if not increase.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By codeThug on 1/20/2009 6:50:56 PM , Rating: 4
"Some" of the oil speculators lost their tails towards the end. At the time of $4 barrel it did not cost the Oil companies any more or any less to produce. So where did the money go? The gas stations didn't get it, your telling me the Oil companies didn't get it, and I don't buy the story that the Saudi's got all of it. So where did the money go?

http://forcechange.com/2009/01/07/supertankers-bei...

Start digging a little deeper and you will see the manipulation going on. Some say the meteoric drop in oil price was done to cripple and reign in Russia and Iran. Who knows? Gasoline going from $4/gal to $1.50/gal solely based on supply and demand is pure bullsch1dt.

BTW- I don't have a problem stringing up our local, state, and federal politicians either. On that, we are in violent agreement.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By mdogs444 on 1/20/2009 7:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gasoline going from $4/gal to $1.50/gal solely based on supply and demand is pure bullsch1dt.

Actually - its quite the opposite. Going from $1.50/gal to $4.00/gal was pure "bullsch1dt". It was all speculation from wars in the middle east, tension with Iran, offline refineries, etc. Whats happening now is the market is readjusting to where it should be based on supply and demand - or haven't you noticed that rounds of OPEC supply cuts haven't worked?
quote:
At the time of $4 barrel it did not cost the Oil companies any more or any less to produce.

No one claimed it did. They production costs remain roughly stationary, and so does their profit margin of 8%. On $1.00/gal they make $.08, but on $4.00/gal, they make $.32. Good reason for their profits quadrupling.
quote:
So where did the money go?

They money went to the oil producing nations. Haven't you noticed that Iran and Venezuela are in big trouble because their entire budgets are based on $80+ per barrel oil?


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By foolsgambit11 on 1/20/2009 7:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
You can't deny, though, that global demand has been reduced in the past six months, as well. I'm not saying there wasn't speculation, but there's a good reason for prices to drop. And remember that the relation between supply/demand and price isn't linear. If demand only slightly exceeds supply, people will pay whatever it takes to get the gas they need. Who here reduced their gas use when it was $3.00? I didn't. That's part of why it went to $4.00. The price will continue to rise until demand equals supply - and China's demand, among others, has (or had) been steadily increasing for the past decade.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By codeThug on 1/20/2009 7:46:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They money went to the oil producing nations.


Not all of it. And please don't blame it on off-line refineries. That gig is so lame. Every time a refinery goes off line it's usually due to scheduled preventative maintenance. In other words it's a planned outage. Occasionally it's storm related. And since there was no spike in gas consumption at that time the refinery argument is just fluff.

The drop in oil is the "news" here. It was merely the larger speculators (ponzi artists) dumping their paper barrels on the market and cashing in.

quote:
Whats happening now is the market is readjusting to where it should be based on supply and demand

No it's not. The huge drop was due to an artificial supply problem brought on by the speculators. We've cut our gasoline consumption by what, 5%. So oil drops from $150/bbl to $32/bbl or roughly 80% based on normal supply and demand. I don't think so.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By mdogs444 on 1/20/2009 8:01:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
No it's not. The huge drop was due to an artificial supply problem brought on by the speculators.

Thats merely what I was saying. I did say that the original increase was due to speculation, so the drop is a readjustment to where we are supposed to be.

quote:
Not all of it. And please don't blame it on off-line refineries. That gig is so lame.

I didnt, I linked it to the likeness of speculation.


By StevoLincolnite on 1/21/2009 5:28:13 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure what the U.S was like, but here every time there was a "Petrol Issue" Prices would increase INSTANTLY, however when the reversed happened... They took there time to lower the prices, Now the price of petrol is sitting at a comfortable $1.09 per Litre, or $4.10 per Gallon here in Australia.
(Better than the $1.80 per litre I saw at one stage, which ends up as $6.86 per gallon).
However that is in a rural part of Australia where the costs were higher than the city areas.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By Aloonatic on 1/21/2009 5:09:19 AM , Rating: 2
Like house prices, the rise in oil prices had a route in the old adage of:

"something is worth whatever people are willing to pay for it" or more accurately "something is worth whatever people think that they can afford to pay for it".

For a while these high prices were sustained by the personal credit bubble, but seeing as that has well and truly burst, people realised that they could not buy the amount/level of Gas/Petrol and Housing that they were before and the prices have had to drop.

There's an element of supply and demand there but in this crazy topsy-turvy world of the last 10 years or so the supply and demand was on both sides of the equation.

That is the supply and demand of/for the goods and the supply and demand for the credit/money that was being used to pay for them.

The whole thing is an utter mess which someone really should have been regulating better but too many people were coming out with too many big sacks of money from more than just the speculators offices and too many politicians made their reputations (looking at you Gordon Brown) for the "financial success" and "Overseeing The Golden of Banking" over the last few years to want to stop the merry-go-round.

Speculators were simply doing their jobs, as were the oil companies. It's their jobs to make as much money as they can for both themselves and their shareholders. If someone puts $4/gallon on the gas/petrol pump and then lots of people roll up and keep on filing up their cars/vans/trucks etc with it, then why not keep pushing up the prices? The same goes for house prices too. Or should everyone who made a bundle on selling their home recently be made to pay too?

The regulatory bodies and politicians who were all to happy to stand idly by as the credit funded financial boom grew and grew without ever asking the question "How can people afford these expensive houses/gas prices?" and do something about it before it all went so predictably and horribly wrong are the people whom we should probably be looking at if blame is to be shared around.


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By BAFrayd on 1/20/2009 6:40:48 PM , Rating: 2
Great! So when do they start rounding up the banking and the oil company heads?


RE: Regional cable monopolies
By Screwballl on 1/21/2009 12:07:29 AM , Rating: 2
thats why I was hoping that several ISPs bought some of the airwaves that were freed up by the analog to digital TV switch... and actually give some semblance of competition.


They should be happy...
By MrBlastman on 1/20/2009 12:14:32 PM , Rating: 1
They don't live in China. They got off easy by their laws - because if it were there, they would probably have been executed. Instead, they get to spend 6+ months in a luxury taxpayer-funded private resort.

:(




RE: They should be happy...
By Tacoloft on 1/20/2009 12:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
I bet in jail they get to watch TV...on an LCD. ;)


RE: They should be happy...
By on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: They should be happy...
By theplaidfad on 1/20/2009 12:45:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Laser Monitor or OLED Monitor is the way to go!


Sweet! Just tell me where I can pick up my 52" OLED or "laser" monitor, and I'll be on my way!


RE: They should be happy...
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 12:50:50 PM , Rating: 1
2ms = 120Hz. Can anyone's eyes refresh that fast? Any response time under 10ms (~85Hz) is fine with me.


RE: They should be happy...
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 2:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
Why am I downrated?

1/120 (120Hz) = 2ms

The average human eye can't pick up changes faster than 75Hz (~13ms). Even really good eyes can't pick up changes faster than 100Hz (~10ms).


RE: They should be happy...
By Alpha4 on 1/20/2009 3:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
I was not aware that the refresh rate of a display is directly proportional to its response time. Maybe others share my confusion. I'll try to google or wiki the subject from home if I remember, but in the meantime would you happen to have any links to some material?


RE: They should be happy...
By mcnabney on 1/20/2009 3:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
2ms = 1/500th of second
120hz = ~8.2ms

have some Fail.


RE: They should be happy...
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 3:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
Gah, I don't know how I got 120Hz...maybe something with 60 and 2? I apologize for the bad math, but my point still stands. 2ms is ridiculously unnecessary.


RE: They should be happy...
By UNHchabo on 1/20/2009 3:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is FUD.

http://whisper.ausgamers.com/wiki/index.php/How_ma...

If you had a setup capable of displaying 200fps, and you flashed it back and forth from black to white every single frame, you would not see grey. You would also not see it flashing as if it was 100Hz, or anything else like that.


RE: They should be happy...
By KingstonU on 1/20/2009 1:09:35 PM , Rating: 1
Until those two options become viable affordable for the general public. LCD is the way to go.


RE: They should be happy...
By ChugokuOtaku on 1/20/2009 12:52:14 PM , Rating: 4
if they were in China, I'm sure they'd do things a lot worse than merely price fixing


RE: They should be happy...
By dflynchimp on 1/20/2009 4:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Of course. If they were in China they'd be dealing with mass counterfeiting!


fg
By itzmec on 1/20/2009 4:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
where is all the fine money going?




RE: fg
By coversyl on 1/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: fg
By mdogs444 on 1/20/2009 5:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yes. Heaven forbid we jail drug smugglers, crack dealers, murderers, drunk drivers, terrorists, hackers, thieves, etc.

Where is our compassion? Why can't we all get along? You're an idiot for even asking that question. I'd rather pay to keep these people in jail, rather than pay their monthly rent and food stamps while they walk around on our streets.


RE: fg
By danrien on 1/20/2009 6:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
lol.... because keeping someone in jail doesn't cost money.... of course we could just put them all on death row, right?


RE: fg
By mdogs444 on 1/20/2009 7:19:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
because keeping someone in jail doesn't cost money

Did you NOT read what I already wrote:
I'd rather pay to keep these people in jail, rather than pay their monthly rent and food stamps while they walk around on our streets.
quote:
of course we could just put them all on death row

Or designate the wilderness of Alaska as a huge inmate state. Drop them off, let them live, and not come back to the continental US. Sounds like a good idea to me. And they can live like our ancestors did 200 years ago...no federal funding to help them out.


RE: fg
By foolsgambit11 on 1/20/2009 7:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, sort of an "Escape From New York" kind of thing.

You're right, there are bad people who need to be locked up. But there are less bad people who don't need to be locked up for as long as they currently are. Or don't need to be in jail at all, but rather some sort of halfway-house-rehabilitation center. Drug users, for instance. Most accept that imprisoning people makes them more likely to go on to commit serious crimes - they get indoctrinated into the criminal world while in prison.

And, as an aside, I'd rather see Bush in jail than pay him $191,300/year plus travel pay for the rest of his life. You know, for war crimes (torture), or, if it wasn't by his order, at least criminal neglect. But don't worry, it's not going to happen.


RE: fg
By mdogs444 on 1/20/2009 8:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Drug users, for instance. Most accept that imprisoning people makes them more likely to go on to commit serious crimes - they get indoctrinated into the criminal world while in prison.

While that is one side of the argument, the other side is legit as well. Statistics show that drug prevention/intervention treatment centers only work a low percentage of the time. Most cases they user will relapse. Also, drug users, when addicted, tend to move up the ladder to worse drugs. This leads to theft, burglary, murder, etc - anything to get money to pay for their fix.
quote:
And, as an aside, I'd rather see Bush in jail than pay him $191,300/year plus travel pay for the rest of his life.

Thats funny - because I say the same thing about Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, etc. But thats all personal preference.
quote:
war crimes (torture)

That line is pretty old and outdated. If there was a crime, he'd have been prosecuted long ago. There isn't anything regarding torture here - because the Geneva Convention only applies to military's of other countries. These terrorist are not employed by countries - but are rather independent "gangs", and therefore do not fall under this law.
quote:
criminal neglect. But don't worry, it's not going to happen.

Treating the terrorists better than they treated our soldiers or innocent civilians on their own lands is what i consider criminal neglect. Its not going to happen because it shouldn't.


RE: fg
By NeoConned08 on 1/20/2009 8:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, drug users, when addicted, tend to move up the ladder to worse drugs. This leads to theft, burglary, murder, etc - anything to get money to pay for their fix.


That is because the prices for drugs are artificially high due to the black market that the drug war creates. How prevalent are robberies occuring to get beer money in comparison to drugs that are illegal? Why aren't we putting alcoholics in prison? Because it is immoral and wrong. Drug addiction, whether it be crack or alcohol, is a health issue, NOT a crime.

Keep advocating stuffing our prisons full of mostly non-violent drug offenders but be sure to also pat yourself on the back every time you hear of a child molestor that was released on *good behavior* who goes out and does it again. While you're at it, the next time we have a terrorist attack, throw yourself a party, because chances are, they got their funding from illegal drug sales. Oh, and don't forget how the Drug War bankrolls organized crime and plays a major role in the corruption of our law enforcement.

Did we learn nothing from Prohibition????

quote:
And, as an aside, I'd rather see Bush in jail than pay him $191,300/year plus travel pay for the rest of his life.

Thats funny - because I say the same thing about Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, etc. But thats all personal preference.


I say put the whole batch of these criminals in prison or hang them for treason/warcrimes/and a whole host of other criminal activity they have all been involved in.

quote:
If there was a crime, he'd have been prosecuted long ago.


Only if the duopoly that makes up the Republocrat party weren't looking out for themselves while they piss and laugh on the rest of us.

Seems like someone has been dipping into the statist kool-aid a bit too long.


RE: fg
By mdogs444 on 1/20/09, Rating: 0
Where's the EU
By bhieb on 1/20/2009 12:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
Is the EU doing something about this too? I mean if they can give MS crap about IE, then surely they will jump on this bandwagon too.




RE: Where's the EU
By FDisk City on 1/20/2009 2:44:00 PM , Rating: 5
Why go after LCD manufacturers for millions when they can go after Microsoft for billions?

Besides, we all know providing a free default browser is way worst than price fixing.


RE: Where's the EU
By omnicronx on 1/20/2009 4:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Besides, we all know providing a free default browser is way worst than price fixing.
I blew a little coffee through my nose when I read that haha.


RE: Where's the EU
By FITCamaro on 1/20/2009 4:12:29 PM , Rating: 3
That had to hurt.


Crime and punishment
By bildan on 1/20/2009 5:21:15 PM , Rating: 4
A little fine and a little jail aren't going to deter bad behavior in the executive suite. We need punishments that generate real fear.

These guys are motivated by greed so punish them with poverty. Create a special white collar felons tax bracket with all income over $15,000 taxed at 100%. Let them live in a rented trailer for the rest of their lives - next door to their victims.




RE: Crime and punishment
By darkpaw on 1/20/2009 6:05:04 PM , Rating: 1
I like it, this would be genius. Instead of being able to pull our the megabucks lawyers and live at your penthouse while on trial and then appeal and die comfortably at home (like ken lay did and madroff likely will). Let em live in public housing.


Banned and i'm Back
By on 1/20/2009 3:27:42 PM , Rating: 2
I would just like to take this time that i have been banned PLAYSTATION THREE 6 no longer exist. I am now PLAYSTATION THREE 7, i would just like to start by saying i am sorry for being such a peice of sh*t and i am will work on not makeing any more retarded comments. I would also like to add, that since i have met the man of my dreams we will, I now understand why i commented the way i did, i have been sexually frustrated and going through an identity crisis, now i am out of the closet, and i feel great, my a$$ is a little sore, and my throat hurts alot. But i am in love and will make sure to keep my comments more positive, as i think i am now positive, HIV positive !!!




By FITCamaro on 1/20/2009 4:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
And what anti-trust laws has he violated? Especially since he's not running Microsoft anymore? But lets assume you're speaking of when he was.

Forcing you to use their operating system? No.
Forcing you to use their browser? No.
Forcing you to use their Office software? No.

Not allowing the development of tools similar to their own on their OS? No.


By mindless1 on 1/20/2009 7:10:12 PM , Rating: 3
Hmm. Invent your own list of pseudo-laws then claim none were broken, or read court docs from the US and EU. Tough call.


By foolsgambit11 on 1/20/2009 7:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I love all the straw-man arguments his just set up and knocked right back down. You don't agree with the decision? Fine. But realize that you're not a judge, or even a lawyer who specializes in business law. Leave nuanced, difficult decisions to the experts.


By Tanclearas on 1/20/2009 9:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
Umm... how about when he made deals with computer makers offering the lowest prices ONLY if they purchased a copy of the OS for every single system they sold, thereby ensuring no competition would take place?

Oh, and according to Microsoft's definition, they DID force you to use their browser. Perhaps you don't recall Microsoft's own defense that the browser could not be removed from the OS?

Perhaps you are forgetting that Microsoft did not expose much of the inner workings of the OS meaning that competitors were at a disadvantage when "developing tools for the OS"?


By overcast on 1/21/2009 1:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
How did offering the lowest prices FORCE computer manufacturers to do anything? Why didn't they release them with another OS? Clearly, it was in their best interest, as 90% of the planet wanted the Windows OS.

So the browser can't be uninstalled, because it's integrated into the OS. What does that have to do with FORCING you to use it? Install something else and use that.

Lastly, wtf are you talking about?


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997











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