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AT&T sues LCD makers for price fixing

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.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +2

    I wonder about SSD memory...

    ...those new Intel X-25 drives were supposed to shift prices downward rather dramatically but in general I'm seeing 30%+ increases at retail levels...?

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    surely...

    Surely All Talk and Turmoil should be suing the manufacturers of the phones and not the manufacturers of components within the phones. Let Nokia, Motorola or whoever sue these guys! Either way it's a bit of a stretch. Can we sue AT&T for overcharging for a phone that they purchased at a notionally inflated price from a manufacturer who bought a component from a company that was engaged in price fixing? Huh?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -5

    No...

    They have no basis for a suit against the phone manufacturers. They, in theory, are charging ATT the appropriate price for the product, based on costs and acceptable profits. But that price is high because of price-fixing, so they say, from the component vendors. They are directly affected by this. Thus, they have cause to sue.

    And how is "either way it's a bit of a stretch"? Isn't price fixing illegal? Or do you think that it should be OK for companies to band together and set the price for various goods and services?

    Can we sue AT&T for overcharging for a phone that they purchased at a notionally inflated price...

    BTW, you just mocked your own argument. ATT suing Nokia would be like you suing ATT. The correct analogy would be whether you could sue the component makers directly.

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    Er...Nope!

    Nope!

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