Wednesday, March 30, 2016

LG, Hitachi, Panasonic, Toshiba and Samsung Settle for $4.95 million total over price-fixing scheme

Posted By CotoBloigzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – A preliminary court approval of settlements resolving allegations that LG, Hitachi, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Samsung, companies all based in Japan or Korea, fixed prices on critical components of televisions and computer monitors from 1995 to 2007, was announced today by the California  Attorney General

The components, known as Cathode Ray Tubes or CRTs, are very much obsolete:  They were used to display images on computer monitors and televisions screens before they were replaced by flat screens.

The court has approved the settlement pending valid objections submitted within 60 days. 

The settlements, which were filed in San Francisco Superior Court, require all five companies to pay a total of $4.95 million to settle claims of overcharges paid by California government entities, general damages suffered by the State’s economy, and civil penalties.

The settlements require that the companies pay back the illegally obtained profits to those affected by their actions. In addition, the settlements include injunctive relief, which requires that each company engage in company-wide antitrust compliance training and reporting that involves products in addition to CRTs and extends to foreign companies and subsidiaries.

Finally, the settlements include requirements, enforceable by the court via fines and imprisonment, to prevent future violations of antitrust law. 

In 2011, after the Office of Attorney General conducted a confidential investigation into price-fixing involving CRTs, the Attorney General filed complaints against these companies for having entered into a price-fixing conspiracy of critical components of television and computer screens. That conspiracy involved top-level meetings of key executive decision-makers in Asia and Europe to set prices and outputs of CRTs.  It also involved worldwide meetings among lower-level executives to exchange confidential information.  Californian subsidiaries of these companies were involved in this conspiracy and took on the role of monitoring the prices of televisions and computers in California stores.

California consumers or sole proprietorships that purchased at least one television or computer between 1995 and 2007 can make a claim, with a guaranteed minimum check of $25.

All eligible California consumers and sole proprietorships can file claims for reimbursement at The new deadline for filing those claims is June 30, 2016.


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