LCD Screen Makers Plead Guilty in Price Fixing Case

Sharp, LG, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes have all agreed to plead guilty to charges that they collaborated to fix the price of LCD displays. The companies agreed to pay US$585 million in fines for artificially raising the price of displays in products including Appleis iPod, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sharp was accused of involvement in three different price-fixing conspiracies where it sold LDC panels to Apple, Dell, and Motorola, LG and Chunghwa were accused of conspiring to set mutual LCD component prices.

The companies were able to set artificially high prices, which ultimately were passed on to consumers. Assistant Attorney General Thomas O. Barnett said that the conspiracy "affected millions of American consumers who use computers, cellphones and numerous other household electronics every day."

He added that LCD prices should come down now, leading to lower prices for consumers.

Sharp representatives stated that the company "understands the gravity of this situation and will strengthen and thoroughly implement measures to prevent the recurrence of this kind of problem, and will earnestly work to regain the publicis confidence."

LG and Chunghwa have not commented on their plea.