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Toshiba will pay $87 million for price fixing

Class action accused company of antitrust violations in LCD market

A California jury decided Tuesday that Toshiba Corp. is guilty of price fixing and must pay a total of $87 million in damages.

Customers brought a class action suit in which they accused the electronics company of engaging in anti-competitive practices and conspiring with other companies in the liquid crystal display (LCD) market to fix prices of LCD products. Most of the other companies settled the allegations against them, but Toshiba decided to take the case to trial.

Of the $87 million Toshiba must pay, $70 million will go to customers who bought finished LCD products, and $17 million will go to manufacturers that used LCD panels, court documents said.

In a statement following the verdict, Toshiba said it did not act illegally and plans to pursue “all legal avenues” to correct the verdict.

"While Toshiba appreciates the jury's time and effort, Toshiba believes that the jury's verdict is in error as to the finding of wrongdoing," the company said.

Last year, Hewlett-Packard accused one of its suppliers, AU Optronics Corp., a Taiwanese LCD manufacturer, of being involved in a price-fixing scheme. U.S. prosecutors ultimately sued AU for price fixing, and the company was convicted in March. Officials say the company’s illegal practices cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars. 

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Cathleen Flahardy

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