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Three HDTV Manufacturers Plead Guilty to LCD Price-Fixing Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
ImageWe have all seen the prices of LCD HDTVs fall over the past years.  However, a recent investigation into the falling prices by the antitrust division of the Justice Department has found that price-fixing was taking place by some of the major display manufacturers – Sharp, LG and Chunghwa Picture Tubes.
These companies recently pleaded guilty to the price-fixing charge and have agreed to pay a total of $585 million dollars in criminal fines.  The Justice Department declares that prices would have fallen even faster and more if it had not been for an international price-fixing cartel.

LG is required to pay the most at $400 million.  All the companies have also agreed to assist in the Department's further investigation in flat-panel prices.  Investigations are under way in Europe, Japan, and South Korea.  In the United States, class-action lawsuits have already been filed.

Analysts say that prices would be even cheaper had price-fixing not taken place.  In addition to flat-panel LCD HDTVs, other items using LCD technology would have also fallen in price (i.e.: computers, cellphones and other household electronics).

Greed is the way of the world, as if the $100 billion profit margin each year in the LCD HDTV business isn't more than enough already, companies feel they need to fix the prices.

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