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Tuesday, January 20, 2009
LG Display Executives Agree to Plead Guilty in Global LCD Price-Fixing Conspiracy


Executives from LG Display C

According to a one-count felony charge filed last Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Chang Suk "C.S." Chung, a Korean LG executive, conspired with unnamed employees from other panel makers to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices of TFT-LCD panels from on or about Sept. 21, 2001, to on or about June 1, 2006. According to a separate one-count felony charge, also filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Chieng-Hon "Frank" Lin, a Taiwanese former executive from Chunghwa, and Chih-Chun "C.C." Liu and Hsueh-Lung "Brian" Lee, Taiwanese current employees of Chungwha, are charged with participating in the same conspiracy at various times during the period from Sept. 14, 2001, to on or about Dec. 1, 2006.

Under the plea agreements, which must be approved by the court, all four executives have agreed to serve a term of imprisonment, pay a criminal fine and assist the government in its ongoing TFT-LCD investigation.

"These cases involve the first Taiwanese nationals to face imprisonment in the United States for an antitrust offense," said Deborah A. Garza, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division. "The Department of Justice is committed to holding accountable all conspirators who harm American consumers, no matter where they live or where they commit the crime."

During the conspiracy, Chang Suk Chung worked as LG?s Vice President of Monitor Sales. Under the plea agreement, Chung has agreed to serve a seven-month prison sentence in the United States and pay a $25,000 criminal fine.

During the charged conspiracy period, Chieng-Hon Lin was Chunghwa?s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Under the plea agreement, Lin has agreed to serve a nine-month prison sentence in the United States and pay a $50,000 criminal fine.

Chih-Chun Liu was Chunghwa?s Vice President of LCD Sales during the charged conspiracy period. Under the plea agreement, Liu has agreed to serve a seven-month prison sentence in the United States and pay a $30,000 criminal fine.

Hsueh-Lung Lee held various sales positions at Chunghwa during the charged conspiracy period, including Vice President of LCD Sales. Under the plea agreement, Lee has agreed to serve a six-month prison sentence in the United States and pay a $20,000 criminal fine.

On Dec. 15, 2008, LG pleaded guilty to participating in this conspiracy and was sentenced to pay a $400 million criminal fine ? the second largest fine in Antitrust Division history. On Jan. 14, 2009, Chunghwa pleaded guilty to participating in the same conspiracy and was sentenced to pay a $65 million criminal fine.

On Dec. 16, 2008, Sharp pleaded guilty to three separate conspiracies to fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels sold to Dell, Apple and Motorola, and was sentenced to pay a $120 million criminal fine.

The four executives are charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum fine of $1 million and up to 10 years in prison for an individual.

These pleas are the result of a joint investigation by the Antitrust Division?s San Francisco Field Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Francisco.


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