LCD makers settle price-fixing case for $553 million

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Reuters reports Samsung, Sharp, Chimei Innolux, Hitachi Displays, HannStar Display, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and Epson Imaging Devices have agreed to pay more than $553 million to settle consumer and state regulatory claims in a price-fixing case. The companies pleaded guilty to inflating prices and stiffling competition in the LCD panel market between 1999 and 2006. Full details on the settlements can be found in the Reuters article.

In December 2006, authorities in Japan, Korea, the European Union and the United States revealed a probe into alleged anti-competitive activity among LCD panel manufacturers. Many companies and executives have since pleaded guilty to criminal antitrust violations and paid more than $890 million in fines.

The latest payout includes $538.6 million to resolve claims by "indirect" purchasers that bought televisions and computers with thin film transistor LCDs, as well as claims by eight states: Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

It also includes payments of more than $14.7 million by five of the companies to settle civil fine and penalty law claims by the states, the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

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