NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A Taiwanese LCD screen maker was hit Thursday with a $500 million fine for price-fixing, a penalty that tied for the largest ever in an American antitrust case.
A federal judge in San Francisco levied the fine against Taiwan's AU Optronics Corporation for its participation in a conspiracy with other companies to fix LCD prices. In addition, two former AU Optronics executives -- ex-president Hsuan Bin Chen and former executive vice president Hui Hsiung -- received three-year prison terms.
"This long-running price-fixing conspiracy resulted in every family, school, business, charity and government agency who bought notebook computers, computer monitors and LCD televisions during the conspiracy [paying] more for these products," the Justice Department's Scott Hammond said in a statement.
AU Optronics said it "regrets" the judgment and plans to lodge an appeal.
The ruling is the latest development in a long-running legal battle focusing on the years between 1999 and 2006, during which a group of Asian manufacturers and their U.S. affiliates conspired to artificially inflate LCD prices, prosecutors say.