China imposes $56M fine on LCD makers

Jan. 4, 2013 at 4:22 PM

BEIJING, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- China imposed $56 million in fines and penalties on six South Korean and Taiwanese makers of LCD screens for price fixing, officials said Friday.

China's National Development and Reform Commission said the companies -- South Korea's LG Display Co. and Samsung Electronics Co., along with Taiwan's Innolux Corp., Optronics Corp., Chungwa Picture Tubes Ltd. and HannStar Display Corp. -- met each month from 2001 through 2006 to set prices for their liquid crystal display panels used in smartphones, computers and televisions, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

"When selling LCD panels in mainland China, the enterprises involved manipulated market prices based on prices agreed on and information exchanged during their meetings. This has harmed the legitimate rights of other manufacturers and consumers," the commission said.

Officials said 5.15 million LCD panels tied to the price-fixing scheme were sold in mainland China.

Besides the fines, penalties against the six companies included an order that they return a combined $27.6 million to domestic color TV makers that purchased the display screens during the period, the Journal said.

The commission said the companies promised to extend an 18-month warranty on their products to 36 months.

China's actions follow actions by the European Union, South Korea and the United States.

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