updated 08:20 pm EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
Fines spread between ten companies
The South Korean government has fined 10 LCD makers for allegedly fixing prices for display components. The list of companies includes all of the major players, including Samsung, LG Display and AU Optronics. Total fines have been set at 195 billion won (~$173 million USD), though Samsung faces the largest single fine of 97.2 billion won (~$86 million USD).
LG Display also faces a significant portion of the penalties, owing 65.5 billion won (~$58 million USD), while AU Optronics will have to pay 28.5 billion won (~$25 million USD). The rest of the fine will be paid by smaller companies such as Chimei Innolux Display, Chungwha Picture Tubes and HannStar Display.
The 10 companies are said to effectively control 80 percent of the LCD panel market. South Korea's Fair Trade Commission has accused the hardware manufacturers of participating in hundreds of secret meetings between 2001 and 2006 in an attempt to artificially inflate prices as the component costs actually dropped.
Troubles for the LCD makers are not limited to South Korea, as some of the companies face lawsuits in the US and the equivalent of $856 million in fines from the European Commission.