Under the agreements, the companies will pay up to $37 million just to compensate government and other public entities for damages.
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
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.
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
to New York's complaint, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers of thin-film
transistor (TFT) LCD panels, together with their U.S. affiliates, engineered a
conspiracy to fix prices of TFT-LCD panels and sold into New York millions of
TFT-LCD panels at prices fixed by the cartel. TFT-LCD screens are essential
components of televisions, computer monitors and laptop screens. The vast
majority of TFT-LCD products sold in New York were sold at high prices
illegally fixed by the conspiracy.
the agreements, the companies will pay up to $37 million to compensate
government and other public entities for damages resulting from the purchase of
TFT-LCD panels. Up to $501 million will be available for partial refunds to
compensate consumers residing in 24 states and the District of Columbia who
purchased products containing TFT-LCD panels during the period beginning Jan.
1, 1999, and continuing through Dec. 31, 2006. Notice of how to file for
partial refunds will be provided to the public at a later date, an office
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.