Media Center

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Concludes Billion-Dollar Settlement in Price Fixing Case Against Major LCD Manufacturers

 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that he has reached settlements with a group of international manufacturers sued by the Department of Justice in August 2010 for conspiring to fix the prices of flat screen LCD panels. The defendants participating in the settlements announced today, and who are also the final defendants in the litigation, include: LG Display Co., Ltd., and LG Display America, Inc. (LG Display), AU Optronics Corporation, and AU Optronics Corporation America (AUO), Toshiba Corporation Japan Display Central, Toshiba America Electronic Components, and Toshiba America Information Systems (Toshiba).

 

The settlements announced today are the final pieces of a larger overall resolution that also includes previously-announced settlement agreements with other manufacturers. Collectively, the manufacturers will pay more than $1 billion to resolve the claims asserted in a nationwide class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of consumers and businesses within 25 states, including Wisconsin. State agencies that purchased flat screen LCD panels also will be eligible for restitution out of this portion of the settlement funds.

 

The manufacturers who entered into settlement agreements prior to the ones announced today include Chimei Innolux Corp., Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc., Chi Mei Optoelectronics Japan Co., Ltd (CMO), HannStar Display Corporation (Hann Star), Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Displays, Ltd., Hitachi Electronic Devices, USA, Inc. (Hitachi), Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. (Samsung), Sharp Corporation, and Sharp Electronics Corporation (Sharp).

 

As part of the overall resolution, Attorney General Van Hollen, joined by the Attorneys General of Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and West Virginia, will receive $42 million in civil penalties to be split among the eight states that sought civil penalties under their state antitrust laws. Wisconsin's share of this amount is expected to be in excess of $2.3 million.

 

The total value of the settlements, including those announced today, exceeds $1.1 billion. The settling manufacturers are also subject to an injunction entered in a prior action commenced by the United States Department of Justice. The table below provides further detail of the settlements with the various groups of defendants:

 

 

 

Settlement Funds
(Class/AGs)

AG Penalty Settlements

IPP/AG Settlements
(Total "Value")

AUO (Taiwan)

$161,500,000.00

$8,500,000.00

$170,000,000.00

LG Display (Korea)

$361,000,000.00

$19,000,000.00

$380,000,000.00

Toshiba (Japan)

$21,000,000.00

 

$21,000,000.00

CMO (Taiwan)

$110,273,318.39

$5,737,947.95

$116,011,266.34

HannStar (Taiwan)

$25,650,000.00

$1,350,000.00

$27,000,000.00

Hitachi (Japan)

$38,977,224.00

$1,494,759.55

$40,471,983.55

Samsung (Korea)

$240,000,000.00

 

$240,000,000.00

Sharp (Japan)

$115,500,000.00

$6,000,000.00

$121,500,000.00

Epson (Japan)

$2,850,000.00

$150,000.00

$3,000,000.00

Chunghwa (Taiwan)

$5,305,105.00

 

$5,305,105.00

Totals

$1,082,055,647.39

42,232,707.50

$1,124,288,354.89

 

 

Commenting on the settlements, Attorney General Van Hollen stated, “We must continue to stand against those companies that unfairly profit from price fixing. I am pleased that we have been able to resolve this case favorably without further litigation.”

 

Upon approval of the final group of settlement agreements by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston in the Northern District of California, the settlement funds will be distributed as outlined in the proposed distribution plan submitted to the court today.

 

The settlement will provide redress to Wisconsin residents and businesses as well as governmental entities. Information about how to file a claim will be available at the Wisconsin Department of Justice website and at http://www.lcdclass.com/. Assistant Attorney General Gwendolyn J. Cooley represents the State of Wisconsin in this matter.