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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached settlements with the majority of the defendants the DOJ sued in August of 2010 for price fixing flat screen LCD panels. The settlements, which include the resolution of Attorney General Van Hollen's claims as well as claims of seven other state Attorneys General and a national class action, will collectively provide more than $500 million for a settlement fund for consumers and businesses within 25 states, including Wisconsin. The settling companies also have resolved claims brought by Attorney General Van Hollen for civil penalties under Wisconsin's Antitrust Act as well as restitution for governmental purchasers.
Attorney General Van Hollen is joined by the Attorneys General of Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York and West Virginia, as well as a class action brought on behalf of private claimants.
“This is the first step toward resolving this complex litigation,” Attorney General Van Hollen said, “I am pleased that these companies have agreed to cooperate with our investigation.”
Settling Defendants include: Chimei Innolux Corp., Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc., Chi Mei Optoelectronics Japan Co., Ltd., HannStar Display Corporation, Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Displays, Ltd., Hitachi Electronic Devices, USA, Inc., Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., Sharp Corporation, and Sharp Electronics Corporation.
Attorney General Van Hollen's litigation continues against LG Display Co., Ltd., LG Display America, Inc., AU Optronics Corporation, and AU Optronics Corporation America. Defendants LG Display Co., Ltd. and LG Display America, Inc., pleaded guilty to federal charges for price fixing TFT-LCD panels in 2008 and paid $400 million in federal fines. Defendants AU Optronics Corporation, and AU Optronics Corporation America, along with several employees, have been indicted on charges of price fixing and are scheduled to go to trial in January on those criminal charges.
Because litigation continues against the remaining defendants, the settlement fund will not be distributed until the litigation is concluded so as to enable any additional recoveries to be included. Attorney General Van Hollen's suit against LG Display and the remaining defendants is scheduled for trial in November 2012.
The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will provide redress to Wisconsin residents and businesses as well as governmental entities. Following completion of the litigation, a claims process will be announced. Information about how to file a claim will be available at the Attorney General's offices' website and elsewhere.
Assistant Attorney General Gwendolyn J. Cooley represents the State of Wisconsin in this matter.
A link to details of the settlement is below: