Toshiba fined $87M for alleged LCD price-fixing

U.S. jury wants to fine Japanese electronics giant for conspiring to fix prices of LCD panels, but company denies charges and aims to "correct that finding", report says.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

In the United States, a jury has ruled that Toshiba conspired to fix prices of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, and therefore liable to pay US$87 million in damages.

Reuters reported Wednesday that the jury in a federal court in San Francisco demanded the Japanese electronics giant to pay US$17 million to manufacturers that used LCD panels, and US$70 million to consumers who bought the finished products.

The case stemmed from a class action suit filed in 2007 by purchasers of LCD panels and related products in the United States, the report noted.

Toshiba said in a statement it does not "expect [itself] to pay any damages as a result of this verdict, given credits for settlements by other defendants", AFP reported. This refers to how the settlement by other defendants in the lawsuit already exceed the fine against Toshiba.

"Toshiba has consistently maintained that there was no illegal activity on its part in the LCD business in the United States, and Toshiba continues to hold that view," the statement said.

The company "believes that the jury's verdict is in error as to the finding of wrongdoing on Toshiba's part" and will "pursue all available legal avenues to correct that finding", it added.

Several other companies have been charged in the case, with Taiwan's AU Optronics among those found guilty, noted AFP in a separate report.

According to U.S. officials, the LCD makers met in secret in karaoke bars, tea rooms and hotel conference rooms in Taiwan to fix prices, said the newswire.

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