Hitachi, Samsung, Sharp Agree on LCD Price-Fixing Settlement
Under the agreements, the companies will pay up to $37 million just to compensate government and other public entities for damages.New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a $553 million multistate settlement with seven major technology corporations alleged to have illegally conspired to artificially inflate prices for liquid crystal display (LCD) screens used in televisions, computer monitors and laptops. New York state taxpayers may receive upward of $11 million, in addition to restitution to compensate consumers affected by the scheme, the attorney general's office said. The corporations-which include Chi Mei Innolux, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Epson Imaging Devices, HannStar Display, Hitachi Displays, Samsung Electronics and Sharp, and certain affiliated entities of each corporation-agreed to pay over $538 million to settle antitrust claims brought on behalf of consumers, government entities and other public entities by a multistate group of eight attorneys general and private class-action attorneys.
Separately, five of the companies agreed to pay over $14 million to settle civil fine and penalty law claims brought by the states in their law enforcement capacities. The corporations also agreed to engage in antitrust compliance programs and to cooperate with the states' ongoing prosecution of other industry participants.
"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," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "Protecting the integrity of the marketplace is the only way to ensure the best outcome for New York's consumers. That is why my office will aggressively police anti-competitive practices and hold accountable those who violate the law."