LCD makers pay $553 million to settle price-fixing suits
Samsung, Sharp and five other liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturers have agreed to pay more than $553 million to settle consumer and state regulatory claims that they conspired to fix prices for LCD panels in televisions, notebook computers and monitors. The settlement is the latest arising from lawsuits alleging an international cartel illegally inflated prices and stifled competition in LCD panels from 1999 to 2006, affecting billions of dollars of U.S. commerce. In December 2006, authorities in Japan, Korea, the European Union and the United States revealed a probe into alleged anti-competitive activity among the manufacturers. Many companies and executives have since pleaded guilty to criminal antitrust violations and paid more than $890 million in fines. The latest payout includes $538.6 million to resolve claims by indirect purchasers, as well as claims by eight states: Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, West Virginia and Wisconsin.