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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that 10 leading electronics manufacturers have settled lawsuits involving an illegal conspiracy to raise prices for the LCD flat panel screens used in televisions, monitors and laptop computers. The class action settlements total approximately $1.1 billion and provide cash back to consumers and businesses that bought widely used LCD (thin-film, transistor liquid crystal display) screens. The billion-dollar settlement is the largest antitrust, all-cash class action recovery ever obtained for consumers who bought these electronic products indirectly from retailers and resellers, and not directly from the original manufacturer of the LCD flat panel screens.
Eligible consumers will be able to collect $25, $100, $200 or more by answering a few simple questions about the number of LCD flat screen TVs, monitors, and laptops they bought from 1999 to 2006. The exact amount of each payment will depend upon the number of products purchased and the number of claims filed. No receipts or other documents are required for small claims. Cash is available to consumers and businesses in Wisconsin and across the country. Consumers have until December 6, 2012 to file a claim. Claims can be filed online at www.LCDclass.com
“This class action against international price fixers allows individual class members to recover a significant portion of what was illegally taken from them and acts as a warning to others that those who fix prices illegally will not gain from their wrongdoing,” Van Hollen said. “Although we are sometimes bombarded with these class action notices, the amount available for consumers who purchased LCD TVs, laptops and monitors is significant and I encourage eligible purchasers to file claims.”
Following U.S. Department of Justice prosecutions of alleged wrongdoers within the LCD industry, Attorney General Van Hollen, along with the Attorneys General of Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan and West Virginia as well as a private class action sued Japanese firms Hitachi, Sharp and Toshiba; Korean firms Samsung and LG Electronics; and Taiwanese firms AU Optronics, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, HannStar Display Corp. and Chi Mei Optoelectronics. The complaint was filed in the Northern District of California and is before the Honorable Judge Susan Illston. The settlement releases all claims of indirect purchasers including consumers, businesses and state government in Wisconsin. Direct purchasers of LCD panels continue litigation in the Northern District of California.
To get more information about the settlements or to file a claim online, visit www.LCDclass.com or call the LCD settlement notice administrator at 1-855-225-1886.
Assistant Attorney General Gwendolyn Cooley represents the State of Wisconsin in this matter.