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Sharp bungs Dell and pals $198m to silence TFT price-fix spat

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Sharp has agreed to fork out $198.5m to make the TFT monitor price-fixing lawsuits go away.

The Japanese firm announced it had settled with Dell and two unnamed companies out of court, and will slap the nine-figure payout into its next quarterly report as "extraordinary expenses".

It is understood the legal action was launched against Sharp's TFT display wing in America and Europe and believed to be related to allegations of collusion between flat-screen makers.

"After carefully taking into consideration the applicable US laws, the facts of the case, and other factors, Sharp has decided that the best possible course of action is to resolve these lawsuits by settlement," the firm said in a canned statement.

Another thing the firm may have carefully considered is Toshiba's defeat in a trial on LCD price fixing last week, which ended with a jury awarding $87m in damages to consumers and manufacturers.

The monitor price-fixing racket has been the target of much litigation and as a result Samsung, Hitachi, AU Optronics and others have copped multimillion-dollar fines.

Sharp said it didn't know how its profits will be affected by the settlement. ®

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