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Wednesday, December 28, 2011
LCD Makers To Pay $553 million Over Price-fixing Case

Samsung, Sharp and five other makers of liquid crystal displays agreed to pay more than $553 million over allegations the firms illegally conspired to inflate prices for liquid crystal displays.

The settlement is the latest arising from lawsuits alleging the creation of an international cartel designed to illegally inflate prices and stifle competition in LCD panels between 1999 and 2006.

The companies -- Chimei Innolux Corp., Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd., Epson Imaging Devices Corp., HannStar Display Corp., Hitachi Displays Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co. and Sharp Corp., and their U.S. affiliates -- agreed to pay more than $538 million to settle antitrust claims brought on behalf of consumers, government entities and other public entities by a group of eight attorneys general and private class-action attorneys, according to the New York attorney general's office.

Five of the tech companies also agreed to pay more than $14 million to settle other claims brought by the states in their law enforcement capacities. The state penalties include $6 million to be paid by Sharp, $5.7 million by Chimei, and smaller amounts by Epson, HannStar and Hitachi.

The companies also agreed to engage in antitrust compliance programs and to cooperate with the states' ongoing prosecution of other industry participants.

The accord calls for Samsung to pay $240 million, Sharp $115.5 million and Taiwan-based Chimei Innolux Corp $110.3 million, settlement papers filed on Friday with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco show.

Hitachi Displays Ltd will pay $39 million, HannStar Display Corp, $25.7 million; Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd, $5.3 million, and Epson Imaging Devices Corp, $2.9 million, according to the court documents.

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