Major LCD companies to pay millions for price-fixing scheme

Seven companies, including Sharp, Samsung and Hitachi, must pay more than $500 million in damages and legal fees stemming from a ploy to control the price of their LCD screens, announced the New York Attorney General this week.

Major LCD companies to pay millions for price-fixing scheme

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman confirmed that the guilty parties – Chi Mei Innolux, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Epson Imaging Devices, HannStar Display, Hitachi Displays, and Samsung Electronics and Sharp – would pay various amounts totaling $553 million for partaking in the seven-year scam.

More than $11 million will go to affected NY taxpayers, Schneiderman said, with five of the companies paying over $14 million to settle multiple states’ civil claims. A $37 million penalty is earmarked for the state government after artificially-inflated thin film transistor LCD panels made their way into NY retail shops, he added.

“This price-fixing scheme manipulated the playing field for businesses that abide by the rules, and left consumers to pay artificially higher costs for televisions, computers and other electronics,” said Schneiderman. “Protecting the integrity of the marketplace is the only way to ensure the best outcome for New York’s consumers. That is why my office will aggressively police anti-competitive practices and hold accountable those who violate the law.”

Score one for swindled consumers. (via Reuters)