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3 Lcd Firms Plead Guilty In Price-fixing Scheme


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Three Asian electronics firms have agreed to plead guilty and pay $585 million in fines for conspiring to drive up the prices of LCD screens used in computers, TVs, cell phones and other electronic devices.

In a plea deal filed Wednesday, LG Display Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp., and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. agreed to cooperate in an antitrust investigation headed by the U.S. Justice Department. The plea agreement was filed in federal court in San Francisco.


LG Display America Inc. unit agreed to pay a $400 million fine for participating in a conspiracy to fix the price of certain LCD panels from September 2001 to June 2006. That is the second highest criminal fine ever imposed by the Justice Department's antitrust division.


Chunghwa, a Taiwanese company, agreed to pay $65 million for participating with LG and other unnamed companies in the price-fixing conspiracy between September 2001 and December 2006.


And Sharp, a Japanese company, agreed to pay $120 million for participating in separate conspiracies to fix the price of certain LCD panels sold to Dell, Motorola and Apple between 2001 and 2006. Those panels were used in computer monitors, laptops, Motorola Razr mobile phones and Apple's iPod portable music players.




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