Print 14 comment(s) - last by xplice.. on Dec 29 at 6:09 PM

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 sentenced 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 Reuters reports the court documents still show that the firms are disputing the allegations, even though they are settling for millions.

Source: Reuters

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Honest question....
By Smartless on 12/28/2011 1:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
How come 8 states are going to get the cash? Did they pay for the lawsuit? Does the state government get it? I always wondered where that money goes.

RE: Honest question....
By Diablobo on 12/28/2011 4:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
That's a very good question. Who exactly is this settlement money going to? The article does not answer this very important question. If they want to make things better for the consumers who were actually harmed worldwide, they could use the money to make all future panel purchases get a discount at the consumer level. This would punish the guilty, keep prices lower, and drive demand at the same time.

RE: Honest question....
By its tom hanks on 12/28/2011 4:51:09 PM , Rating: 2

8 states filed the claim, it was consolidated into one claim, and 16 additional states worked their way into getting some of the cash

RE: Honest question....
By Hakuryu on 12/28/2011 10:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
Another honest question from me - did anyone else feel LCD prices were crazy in the times mentioned?

Sure the LCD monitors were high, but CRT monitors were still being sold in 2000. Buying LCD was buying a step up. If all these companies decided to keep prices higher, in a market where the item was a luxury (over CRT), then I think they had good managers as opposed to being part of a scheme to keep prices high.

I can hate on Apples prices and DRM with the best of them, but I just don't find a cause here. Nobody had to have an LCD in the years of this suit.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
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