|December 9, 2011
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that her office is filing a lawsuit against manufacturers and sellers of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and products containing CRTs for price fixing. A CRT is a vacuum tube containing an electron gun and a fluorescent screen used to view images; CRTs are commonly used in TVs and computer monitors.
The complaint alleges that from 1995-2007, the manufacturers and sellers of CRTs were fixing prices. During that period, CRTs were the dominant product used in televisions and computer monitors, recently replaced in dominance by liquid crystal displays (LCDs). Florida already has a lawsuit pending alleging the price fixing of LCDs. Sales of millions of CRTs and products containing CRTs resulted in billions of dollars in profits annually to the manufacturers and sellers of CRTs.
“During hard economic times, price fixing exacts a terrible toll on Florida consumers. It is my hope that these lawsuits will serve to provide economic relief to the victims and deter future misconduct by corporations that seek to do business with Florida consumers and Florida governmental agencies,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The complaint alleges that during the conspiracy period defendants met frequently at gatherings that became known as “Glass Meetings.” These meetings were held at secret locations where price forecasts, volume, allocation, supply and demand for CRTs was discussed. At these meetings, Defendants allegedly agreed to fix the price of CRTs and reduce the output of CRTs, acts that resulted in Florida consumers and governmental agencies overpaying for televisions and computer monitors containing CRTs. Florida is seeking damages for its consumers and its governmental agencies as well as civil penalties.
Named as defendants in the lawsuit were LG Electronics, Inc., LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., LG Electronics Taiwan Taipei Co., Ltd., Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. a/k/a Royal Philips Electronics N.V., Philips Electronics North America Corporation, Philips Electronics Industries (Taiwan), Ltd., Philips Da Amazonia Industria Electronica Ltda., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung SDI Co., Ltd. f/k/a Samsung Display Device Co., Ltd., Samsung SDI America, Inc., Samsung SDI Mexico S.A. de C.V., Samsung SDI Brasil Ltda., Shenzhen Samsung SDI Co., Ltd., Tianjin Samsung SDI Co., Ltd., Samsung SDI (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba America, Inc., Toshiba America Consumer Products, LLC, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., MT Picture Display Co., Ltd., Panasonic Corporation f/k/a Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Panasonic Corporation of North America, Beijing-Matsushita Color CRT Company, Ltd., Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Displays, Ltd., Hitachi Electronic Devices (USA), Inc., Hitachi America, Ltd., Hitachi Asia, Ltd., Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd., CPTF Optronics Co., Ltd., Chunghwa Picture Tubes (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., IRICO Group Corporation, IRICO Display Devices Co., Ltd., IRICO Group Electronics Co., Ltd., Thai CRT Company, Ltd. and Samtel Color, Ltd.
In 2010, the Attorney General’s Office filed a similar lawsuit against the world’s largest manufacturers of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display panels, or “TFT-LCD panels,” alleging the companies conspired to fix the prices of their products. According to the civil lawsuit, 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.
A copy of the CRT complaint is available online at: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MMFD-8PDJ6R/$file/12.911CRTCOMPLAINT.pdf
A copy of the LCD complaint is available online at: