LG to settle price-fixing suit for $380 million

The LCD screen maker to pay the largest amount of 10 companies named in the litigation

Perhaps all those people standing in their local electronics store a few years ago, scratching their heads and wondering why that 60-inch flat screen cost $6,000, feel slightly vindicated now.

Liquid crystal display (LCD) maker LG Display Co. yesterday agreed to pay $380 million to resolve a civil lawsuit alleging that the company, along with nine others, conspired to fix the prices of its products.

According to the class action suit, LG, Toshiba Corp., AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) and others plotted from the late 1990s through 2006 to fix LCD display prices, which resulted in higher prices for buyers of televisions, laptops and other devices.

LG, Toshiba and AUO all settled their disputes, while other companies pleaded guilty to separate criminal charges and paid fines. AUO will pay $170 million and Toshiba will pay $21 million under the terms of their settlements.

A Toshiba spokesperson told Reuters that the company “denies any wrongdoing on its part in the LCD business, and it entered into the settlement to avoid further expense and the distraction of protracted litigation.”

Reuters reports that a deal concerning the other seven companies, including Samsung, Sharp and Hitachi, previously had been approved. If this deal becomes final, the total recovery for class members will exceed $1 billion, according to a court filing.

For more on the price-fixing suit, read Reuters.

And for more about LG’s recent legal trouble, read:

Sony and LG settle patent suit

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