updated 12:20 pm EDT, Wed October 21, 2009
AT&T sues AU Optronics, more
AT&T has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday against Samsung, LG Display, AU Optronics and other LCD makers for allegedly colluding on fixing the price of display panels in the US. According to a Wednesday Bloomberg report, AT&T claimed Samsung and six others have formed an illegal international cartel meant to "restrict competition in the United States in the market for LCD panels." In its complaint, AT&T claims this conspiracy has included communications and meetings during which defendants agreed to eliminate competition and fix the prices of LCD panels that were coming to the US.
AT&T claims damages as its wireless arm has purchased more than 300 million cellphones with what it claims to be artificially inflated LCDs by the price-fixing scheme. A specific monetary amount hasn't been disclosed and will likely depend on the judge's final ruling.
This past July, the European Union's antitrust regulators charged Philips, LG and other LCD makers with price fixing, while LG, Sharp and Hitachi pleaded guilty and paid a combined $585 million in fines to similar accusations in November.