Price-Fixing Pleas

Antitrust lawyers working for the government seem to be on something of a little roll lately.  In addition to recently causing the proposed venture between Google and Yahoo to get scuttled, and cracking down on the DRAM market, the antitrust division at DOJ has just secured guilty pleas from LG, Sharp, and Chunghwa (who?) for price-fixing in the LCD market.  So sayeth cnet and others.  According to the cnet article, “LG Display, Sharp, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges for participating in a liquid crystal display price-fixing conspiracy and pay $585 million in fines.”

$585 million in fines is a lot of money, but it’s not as much as the DOJ was able to get out of Samsung, Hynix, and Infineon for price-fixing in the DRAM market.  (See this DOJ press release.)  In those waves of investigations, the DOJ was able to get $731 million in fines.

This investigation focused on TFT screens, and interestingly enough, like the DRAM prosecutions, Apple was affected by both.