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Samsung Electronics, seven panel makers pay $388 million in antitrust case

Sharp Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., and six other makers of liquid crystal display panels used in computers and televisions agreed to pay $388 million to settle price-fixing claims by direct purchasers of the products.

Sharp, Japan’s largest panel maker, paid $105 million; Samsung, the world’s largest TV maker, paid $82.7 million; and Chimei Innolux Corp., Taiwan’s largest maker of display panels, paid $78 million, according to filings yesterday in San Francisco federal court.

The companies allegedly fixed prices of the panels, driving up prices for purchasers who bought the screens or goods containing them from 1999 to 2006, according to a class action, or group lawsuit, filed in 2007. 

A sales assistant walks past Samsung Electronics Co. light-emitting diode (LED) televisions and liquid-crystal display (LCD) televisions at an electronic store in Seoul. (Bloomberg)
A sales assistant walks past Samsung Electronics Co. light-emitting diode (LED) televisions and liquid-crystal display (LCD) televisions at an electronic store in Seoul. (Bloomberg)


The litigation stemmed from a U.S. Justice Department investigation that led to guilty pleas by LG Display Co., Chunghwa Picture Tubes and Sharp. The companies agreed in 2008 and 2009 to pay $585 million in criminal fines, the U.S. said.

In the class action accord, the companies denied wrongdoing. A federal judge gave preliminary approval to the eight settlements Oct. 4, according to court records. A final approval hearing is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Chris Goodhart, a spokeswoman for Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment about the settlement. E-mails seeking comment after normal business hours sent to Miyuki Nakayama, a spokeswoman for Osaka-based Sharp, and from Miaoli, Taiwan-based Chimei’s public relations department, weren’t immediately answered.

The case is In Re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, 07-01827, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco).


<한글기사>



삼성.. 美LCD독점소송서 932억원배상

삼성전자와 샤프 등 컴퓨터와 TV용 액정표시장치(LCD) 패널제조업체 8개사가 미국 샌프란시스코 연방법원에서 가격 담합 혐의와 관련된 소송에서 3억8천800만 달러의 배상금을 내기로 합의했다고 블룸버그통신이 6일(현지시간) 전했다.

이중 샤프가 1억500만달러로 가장 많고 삼성전자와 대만 CMO사가 각각 8천270만 달러와 7천800만달러 등으로 뒤를 이었다.

이들 기업은 미국 법무부의 조사 결과, 99년부터 2006년까지 구매가를 올리기 위해 패널 가격을 담합한 혐의가 드러나 2007년 피소됐다.

이번 소송과 관련해 LG와 대만의 청화픽쳐스튜브, 샤프 등은 사전형량조정을 통해 2008년과 2009년 모두 5억8천500만달러의 벌금을 냈다고 법무부는 전했다.

법원은 지난 4일 이들 8개사의 조정내용에 대해 예비승인했으며 최종 승인 심리는 오는 19일 열릴 예정이라고 블룸버그는 전했다.

블룸버그는 삼성전자와 샤프 등에 코멘트를 요구했으나 답변을 듣지 못했다고 덧붙였다.

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