There was an immeasurable distance between the quick and the dead: they did not seem to belong to the same species; and it was strange to think that but a little while before they had spoken and moved and eaten and laughed - W. Somerset Maugham
LCD MAKERS Toshiba, LG and AU Optronics have agreed to pay $571m to settle a lawsuit over alleged price fixing.
Toshiba, LG and AU Optronics have been in the dock for alleged price fixing on LCD screens but according to an attorney for the plaintiffs the companies have decided to settle the case. Joseph Alioto, co-lead counsel for a class of consumers said the firms will pay a combined $571m, including $27.5m in civil penalties.
According to Alioto, the settlement offered by Toshiba, LG and AU Optronics brings the total cash recovered by consumers up to $1.1bn. Alioto's figure includes a separate $538.5m settlement from seven other monitor makers that was approved by US District Judge Susan Illston on Wednesday.
While Alioto didn't give a breakdown of how much each LCD maker will contribute to the $571m total, he did say that any consumer that files a claim will receive $25, adding that the class action could include at least 20 million consumers.
LCD makers have been snared in several price fixing scandals over the past five years, and while firms have settled or been found guilty the costs of setting up an LCD panel plant mean that real competition is relatively scarce.
Judge Illston still has to approve the three firms' settlement offer. µ
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