LCD MAKERS Samsung and Sharp are among a group of eight LCD panel vendors that have been ordered to pay $388m in a price fixing case.
Sharp, Samsung and Chimei Innolux are the three largest firms facing up to paying tens of millions in fines following a class action lawsuit that proceeded from initial litigation by the US Department of Justice (DoJ), in which the firms agreed to pay $585m. Now Sharp will have to fork over another $105m while Samsung and Chimei Innolux will pay $82.7m and $78m, respectively.
The firms are alleged to have fixed prices for panels between 1999 and 2006, an accusation the firms had denied. A federal judge gave preliminary approval to eight settlements back in October, with a final approval expected on 19 December.
The DoJ's case led to Chunghwa Picture Tubes, LG and Sharp pleading guilty to price fixing. The current class action lawsuit was brought by customers that purchased products rather than the US government.
Sharp, Samsung and Chimei Innolux are three of the biggest LCD panel makers, with Sharp and Chimei being the largest manufacturers in Japan and Taiwan, respectively, while Samsung is the world's largest TV maker. All three companies have been dogged by price fixing allegations for some years, and now it seems that their customers are finally getting justice. µ