LCD Price Fixing Settlement Totals $553M
December 28, 2011 12:54 PM
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LCD companies still dispute claims
Companies in the tech world at times resort to some very questionable tactics to maintain or boost profits. Such is the case with some of the largest firms in the technology realm when they conspired between 1999 and 2006 to artificially fix the prices of LCD screen that are used in a variety of electronic devices. LCDs are used in devices like notebooks, smartphones, TVs and more.
The legal drama, fines, and other issues in the LCD market have been ongoing for years now. Sharp and LG were
in part of the price fixing scandal as far back as 2008. The LCD makers embroiled in the case have settled the price-fixing case for a total of $553 million between the guilty parties. The companies that are part of the settlement include Samsung, Sharp, Chimei Innolux Corp, Hitachi Displays Ltd, HannStar Display Corp, Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd, and Epson Imaging Devices Corp.
"This price-fixing scheme manipulated the playing field for businesses that abide by the rules, and left consumers to pay artificially higher costs for televisions, computers and other electronics," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement on Tuesday. The settlement will be dived out between eight states including Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Samsung will pay the largest part of the fine at $240 million, Sharp will pay $115.5 million, and Chimei Innolux Corp will pay $110.3 million. Hitachi is on the hook for $39 million, HannStar Display will pay $25.7 million, Chunghwa will pay $5.3 million, and Epson will pay $2.9 million.
The settlement agreement will also see the firms set up antitrust compliance programs. The court still needs to give the final approval to the deal. It's also worth noting that
reports the court documents still show that the firms are disputing the allegations, even though they are settling for millions.
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Government taxation at its finest
12/28/2011 1:48:45 PM
The only thing this does is serve to raise the costs of LCDs. Manufacturers will embed the cost of this settlement in future LCDs. Even if the price-fixing is true, is this settlement going to the consumers? No, it is going to the federal government where the money just evaporates.
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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