LG.Philips subpoenaed in LCD competition probe

LG.Philips is the subject of an investigation by authorities in Korea, Japan and the U.S. into possible anticompetitive activity in the LCD market

First it was chips, now it's LCDs . Authorities around the globe are investigating possible anticompetitive conduct in the LCD industry, according to activity at LG.Philips LCD offices.

Last Friday, officials from the Korean Fair Trade Commission visited LG Philips' offices in Seoul as part of an investigation into possible anticompetitive behaviour, the company said.

In addition, the Japanese Fair Trade Commission issued a notice to LG Philips' offices in Tokyo. and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a subpoena to LG.Philips' offices in California, it said.

Philips will cooperate with the investigation. It was not immediately known if other LCD companies had also been targeted.

Authorities around the globe are already investigating other chip markets for possible anticompetitive behaviour, including price fixing, and some companies have been fined. This was the first indication of an investigation into the LCD market.

The DOJ recently subpoenaed AMD as part of an investigation into the graphics processor market. It has fined companies for price-fixing in the DRAM market, and is also currently investigating similar issues in the Static RAM sector.

LG Philips, a joint venture of LG Electronics and Philips Electronics, is one of the largest makers of LCD screens. It competes with Samsung Electronics and Sony, among others.

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service

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