Samsung, Sharp and others to pay $553 million fine for LCD price-fixing scheme

Samsung, Sharp, Innolux Corp, Hitachi, HannStar Display Corp, Chungwha Picture Tubes and Epson Imaging Devices Corp will pay a total of $553 million to settle accusations that the firms participated in an LCD price-fixing scheme. The price fixing resulted in inflation of display prices at the benefit of all companies involved, but at the cost of consumers. “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,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. The United States, European Union, South Korea and Japan began investigating the seven companies in December 2006, Reuters said, and executives and other firms have already paid as much as $890 million in fines. Settlement papers filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ask Samsung to pay $240 million, the largest fine levied against any of the firms involved. Nokia also filed a lawsuit against several, but not all, of the aforementioned firms in 2009 alleging that the companies were purposely driving up display prices for screens used in Nokia smartphones.

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