LG And Sharp Fined $700M for Fixing The Price Of iPod Screens

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LG and Sharp are among three Companies who were today fined a massive $900 million dollars for engaging in a criminal activity in that they tried to fix the price of LCD screens used in Apple iPods and Motorola Razr phones.

 LG and Sharp are among three Companies who were today fined a massive $900 million dollars for engaging in a criminal activity in that they tried to fix the price of LCD screens used in Apple iPods and Motorola Razr phones.
LG alone have been described as the biggest offender resulting in them copping a $624 Million dollar fine second highest criminal fine ever imposed by the department’s antitrust division.


According to TWICE Magazine the criminal fines against LG Display, Sharp and Chunghwa Picture Tubes were made by the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust division.


Sharp a Japanese Company issued a statement this morning claiming that they had agreed to pay a fine of $180 million “regarding price fixing of TFT LCDs with respect to a limited number of customers.” Further, Sharp’s chairman and CEO and certain board members have offered shareholders and other concerned parties to voluntarily return 10 percent to 30 percent of their remuneration for three months starting in December 2008.


The statement went on to say that “Sharp 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 public’s confidence”.


Chunghwa has agreed to pay a $65 million fine for its participation in the price-fixing scheme from September 2001 through December 2006.

 

Ironically the biggest offenders LG, who are a Korean Company where corruption is rife in both the Government and among Companies like LG and Samsung have so far declined to issue a statement. 


“Today’s charges and criminal fines emphasize the commitment of the Department of Justice to crack down on international cartels,” said Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey in DOJ’s statement.


He also said that during the conspiracy, LG Display Co. Ltd. was known as LG.Philips LCD Co. Ltd which was a joint venture Company between LG Electronics and Philips Electronics.

 
Sharp has agreed to pay a $120 million fine for its participation in separate conspiracies to fix the price of TFT-LCD panels sold to Dell from April 2001 to December 2006 for use in computer monitors and laptops, to Motorola from fall 2005 to the middle of 2006 for use in Razr mobile phones, and to Apple Computer from September 2005 to December 2006 for use in iPod portable music players.


“These price-fixing conspiracies affected millions of consumers who use computers, cell phones and numerous other household electronics every day,” said Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department’s antitrust division, said in the DOJ statement. “These convictions, and the significant fines they carry, should send a clear message that the antitrust division will vigorously investigate and prosecute illegal cartels, regardless of where they are located.”

 

DOJ said LG and Chunghwa were charged with carrying out the conspiracy by: participating in meetings, conversations and communications in Taiwan, Korea and the United States to discuss the prices of TFT-LCD panels; agreeing during those meetings, conversations and communications to charge prices of TFT-LCD panels at certain pre-determined levels; issuing price quotations in accordance with the agreements reached; and exchanging information on sales of TFT-LCD panels, for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreed-upon prices.


Sharp is charged with participating in three separate conspiracies, to fix the price of TFT-LCD panels sold to Dell, Motorola and Apple by: participating in bilateral meetings, conversations and communications in Japan and the United States.

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