Agree to help prosecute other LCD panel vendors
Seven LCD panel makers, including Samsung, Sharp, and Chimei Innolux, have reached accords to settle claims that they conspired to limit competition and fix prices for their displays used in laptops, monitors and TVs. If approved, the proposed $539 million settlement will resolve several cases pending in the US district court in San Francisco, and affect buyers as indirect victims. Earlier this month, another settlement for $388 million was reached in the same court with "direct" purchasers of the panels, who then put these panels into their own products.
Hitachi Guilty in LCD Fix
Hitachi this afternoon said it had pled guilty to rigging the prices of its LCD panels and agreed to pay a $31 million fine. The agreement with a US District Court in San Francisco finds that Hitachi held meetings with Dell that illegally set prices for computer LCD displays by agreeing to prices in advance and artificially adjusting the actual quoted prices to match the target. Hitachi's move effectively let the company set its own prices independently of the market between April 2001 and March 2004.
12-inch Touch in 2008
Panel designers should have notebook-sized touchscreens that are virtually indistinguishable from their view-only counterparts in the second half of next year, say tips from Taiwan firms. Local business AU Optronics is reportedly developing a 12.1-inch LCD that would use in-cell touch input, escaping the need for a separate layer just to sense contact from the user. The technique allows displays that are as thick as today's LCDs and contrasts sharply with existing tablet PCs, which often gain bulk with the need for a touch-capable display.