Firms plead guilty to LCD price-fixing

Nov. 12, 2008 at 9:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Three electronics manufacturers agreed to plead guilty and pay fines of $585 million for sharing in a price-fixing scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Of the $585 million in fines LG Display Co., Sharp Corp and Chunghwa Picture Tubes agreed to pay for conspiring to fix prices for liquid crystal display panels, LG will pay $400 million, the department said Wednesday in a news release.

The LG penalty is the second highest criminal fine ever imposed by the department's Antitrust Division, the department said.

The panels are used in computer monitors and notebooks, televisions, mobile phones and other electronics. Companies affected by the LCD price-fixing schemes include Apple, Dell and Motorola, the department said.

"Today's charges and criminal fines emphasize the commitment of the Department of Justice to crack down on international cartels," Attorney General Michael Mukasey said.

In addition to pleading guilty and the fines, the companies also agreed to cooperate with the department's continuing antitrust investigation. The plea agreements are subject to court approval.

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