Feeds

LCD makers to pay $585m for price-fixing conspiracy

Cartel burned Dell, Apple, Motorola

High performance access to file storage

Three Asian electronics manufactures on Wednesday agreed to pay a combined $585m after admitting they conspired to drive up the prices of liquid crystal display monitors that were bought by Dell, Apple, Motorola, and others.

LG Display of South Korea, Sharp of Japan, and Chunghwa of Taiwan pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges filed in US District Court in San Francisco. In addition to agreeing to pay fines, the three companies have offered to cooperate in an ongoing antitrust investigation, meaning other electronics makers may soon face similar charges.

According to prosecutors, executives from all three companies repeatedly met and communicated with their co-conspirators and agreed to charge predetermined prices for LCD monitors. Sharp's actions directly inflated the price of LCD devices bought by Apple for iPods, Motorola for Razr phones, and Dell for undisclosed products. Court documents charging LG Display and Chunghwa didn't list customers who were cheated.

"These price-fixing conspiracies affected millions of American consumers who use computers, cell phones and numerous other household electronics every day,” Thomas Barnett, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's antitrust division, said in a statement. "These convictions, and the significant fines they carry, should send a clear message that the Antitrust Division will vigorously investigate and prosecute illegal cartels, regardless of where they are located."

LG Display's fine totaled $400m, the second highest criminal fine ever imposed in a US antitrust case. Sharp has agreed to pay $120m, and Chunghwa will pay $65m. The case was brought by the same San Francisco-based team that has successfully prosecuted makers of dynamic random access memory chips for price fixing and netted $730m from companies including Samsung, Elpida, Hynix, and Infineon.

The market for LCD panels is about $70bln, the Justice Department said. Prosecutors didn't estimate the loss caused by the price fixing. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.