Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
December 27, 2011
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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Attorney General Bondi’s Office Reaches $538.5 Million Multi-State and Class Action Settlement with Manufacturers of TFT-LCD Panels

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that her office and seven other state attorneys general as well as lead counsel for the class of indirect purchasers have reached a $538.5 million settlement with manufacturers and sellers of the thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. The complaint alleged the defendants conspired to prevent competition and to increase prices for TFT-LCD panels, the most common form of LCD panels used in popular electronic devices such as desktop monitors, laptop screens, and flat panel televisions. Florida will also receive its proportionate share of $14.7 million in civil penalties.

“Price-fixing is detrimental to Florida’s consumers, governmental agencies, and the economy,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I am pleased that we will be able to return funds to those who were harmed by this illegal and deceptive behavior.”

The complaint alleged that the defendants organized the conspiracy at the highest levels of their organizations in various secret meetings and telephone conversations. A number of the defendants and their employees have pled guilty to federal charges in the same federal court. The litigation will continue against other non-settling defendants, including well-known manufacturers of electronic goods, LG, Toshiba, and AU Optronics.

Because the litigation will continue against the remaining defendants, the settlement fund will not be distributed until the litigation is concluded to allow for a single distribution. Attorney General Bondi’s suit against the remaining defendants is scheduled for trial in November 2012. Following court approval of the settlements, the funds will be distributed to Florida businesses and consumers who made a qualifying purchase. Upon completion of the litigation, a claims process will be announced, and information regarding how to file a claim will be provided on the Attorney General Bondi’s website.

Defendants include manufacturers of electronic goods, including the following: AU Optronics Corporation, AU Optronics Corporation America, Chimei Innolux Corp., CMO Japan Co., Ltd., Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc., HannStar Display Corporation, Hitachi Ltd., Hitachi Displays, Ltd., Hitachi Electronic Devices (USA), Inc., LG Display Co., Ltd., LG Display America Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., Sharp Corporation, Sharp Electronics Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba Mobile Display Technology Co., Ltd., Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., and Toshiba America Electronics Components, Inc.

All settling defendants must promise to fully cooperate with Florida against the remaining defendants. The settlements also require the settling defendants to establish antitrust reporting and compliance programs.

The other state attorneys general involved are as follows: New York, Michigan, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, California, and Wisconsin.

A copy of the LCD complaint is available online at:$file/12811LCDCOMPLAINT.pdf