LCD makers to pay over $553 million for price fixing

Seven makers of LCD panels have agreed to settle charges of price fixing of those products with the US government. Reuters reports that the companies will pay a total of $553 million to settle those claims. The companies have been accused in various lawsuits of trying to artificially inflate prices of LCD panels used in TVs, PC monitors and other products between 1999 and 2006 in order to keep competitors out.

The seven companies that will have to pay to settle those federal and state claims include Samsung, Sharp, Hitachi, Chimei Innolux, HannStar, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and Epson Imaging Devices Corp. Samsung is paying out the most to settle its claims at $240 million with Sharp paying out $115.5 million and Chimei settling for $110.3 million.

All of the companies listed are still contesting the price fixing allegations even though they have agreed to the settlements. The settlement still has to gain court approval to become official. Other companies that have been accused of LCD panel price fixing, including LG and Toshiba, have yet to settle any claims with the federal government or the states.

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18 Comments

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they named 7 companies... how many others are out there that arent' included in this lawsuit?

here is the real question, how many companies do we need for this one product? if there is 20 companies competing with each other then I say let them keep others out....

This is only the tip of the iceberg. How many more companies are doing this? I mean, OIL is obvious, and so are telecommunication companies.

xpclient said,
Wow that's pretty bad. First RAM manufacturers, now LCDs.

Next on the list: Gaz prices...it might seem unrelated but in a world where everything is imported it does matter!

Philippe Pepin said,

Next on the list: Gaz prices...it might seem unrelated but in a world where everything is imported it does matter!

everyone knows the prices are fixed.OPEC. It's called a cartel for a reason.

So these companies have been price fixing and the consumer has been getting hurt, but who gets the money from the settlement, the government, not the consumer. I guess some enterprising lawyer will now see this and raise a class action suit against the companies, maybe.

All of these companies have driven each other to the point where they aren't profitable anymore and the only way to make money is to inflate the prices together. I suppose when you run a sale every day, all year, it tends to hurt your profit margins a little bit...

Tech Greek said,
All of these companies have driven each other to the point where they aren't profitable anymore and the only way to make money is to inflate the prices together. I suppose when you run a sale every day, all year, it tends to hurt your profit margins a little bit...

Apple does a great job if inflating the prices so Apple should have to pay as well. They started it.

Awww, those companies just want to make some money. Price fixing is the only way for them to survive competition.

Redmak said,
Awww, those companies just want to make some money. Price fixing is the only way for them to survive competition.

Don't think that applies to Samsung.

Redmak said,
Awww, those companies just want to make some money. Price fixing is the only way for them to survive competition.
Innovation and having a great product as well as competition is the only way they should be allowed to make money not cheating by price fixing..

Jaybonaut said,
I am surprised about Samsung, but not about Epson. Epson is a horrible company.

surprised about Samsung? you have not being paying attention then

Whilst I would like to think that the prices would now fall as they are not being price fixed after taking the hit of paying those fines I know the prices are going to go up slightly
I can dream of cheaper prices I guess

I don't think the prices will fall over this anyway, seeing as the price fixing apparently occurred between 1999 and 2006.

Not that it matters, I'm looking at TVs at the moment and you can get huge ones quite cheap (in comparison to a few years ago).