|July 12, 2012
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that her office and seven other state attorneys general, as well as lead class counsel for private plaintiffs, have reached a $543.5 million settlement with the remaining defendants in an industry-wide investigation into the manufacturers of thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. The settlement announced today is in addition to the $538.5 million in damages and $14.7 million in civil penalties paid last year as a result of the lawsuit, bringing the total of the settlements to more than $1.1 billion.
The Attorney General’s complaint alleges 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. The remaining defendants have agreed to pay a total of $543.5 million to United States purchasers of electronic devices containing LCD screens such as laptop computers, computer monitors, and flat screen televisions.
Florida will also receive approximately five million dollars in civil penalties. The settlement also requires the defendants to establish antitrust compliance programs in connection with the manufacturing of TFT-LCD Panels, and submit yearly reports indicating their compliance. A motion seeking preliminary approval of the settlements will be filed with the California court today.
“Price-fixing of this kind directly harms consumers, Florida’s governmental agencies, and our economy,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “This settlement puts a stop to this illegal behavior and allows for consumers to be compensated.”
It was alleged that the defendants organized the conspiracy at the highest levels of their organizations in various secret meetings and telephone conversations. The United States Department of Justice has indicted and convicted a number of the defendants and their employees.
The defendants involved in today’s settlement include the following: AU Optronics Corporation; AU Optronics Corporation America; LG Display Co. Ltd.; LG Display America Inc.; Toshiba Corporation; Japan Display Central Inc.(formerly known as Toshiba Mobile Display Co. Ltd.); Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co.; Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc.; and Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.
Along with Florida, which was a lead state negotiating the settlement, the other states participating in the settlement were: California; New York; Michigan; Missouri; Arkansas; West Virginia; and Wisconsin.
Consumers are encouraged to visit www.LCDclass.com to file a claim or obtain additional information about the litigation. Consumer may also call 1-855-225-1886 or write to LCD Class, P.O. Box 8025, Faribault, MN 55021-9425 to obtain information. A copy of the LCD complaint is available online at: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MMFD-8PCKYS/$file/12811LCDCOMPLAINT.pdf