updated 01:00 am EDT, Wed July 4, 2012
Toshiba sole defendant, co-conspirators settled previously
After two days of deliberations, a California jury has decreed that Toshiba is guilty of conspiracy involving other Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese LCD manufacturers to keep prices artificially high on LCD panels between 1999 and 2006. Under the findings of the jury, Toshiba is liable for $87 million in damages -- $17 million to businesses and $70 million to consumers. Under antitrust law, defendants can be assessed damages of three times the jury's ruling, or $261 million. Toshiba was the sole remaining defendant in the suit, and claimed to have done nothing wrong.
“Toshiba plans to pursue all available legal avenues to correct that finding,” spokesman Julius Christensen said in an email statement. Toshiba has “consistently maintained that there was no illegal activity on its part in the LCD business in the United States,” added Christensen
Company lawyers argued the well-documented hotel meetings of executives from various LCD makers were for legitimate reasons. Toshiba also claimed it never made the specific TFT-LCD that was the subject of the price-fixing meetings at the hotel, known as the crystal meetings.
Sharp and Samsung Electronics agreed to pay $927 million in settlements agreed to in December 2011. AU Optronics reached a settlement in March said to be worth up to $1 billion, with LG Display following on May 1 for an undisclosed amount.