Taiwan's AU Optronics found guilty in LCD price fixing scheme

The company faces a maximum fine of US$1 billion

A U.S. federal jury on Tuesday convicted Taiwan's AU Optronics of taking part in a worldwide price fixing scheme on LCD panels that raked in at least US$500 million from U.S. companies and customers including Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

The federal jury in San Francisco found guilty AU Optronics, its Houston-based subsidiary, and two former top executives, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice. AU Optronics, one of the world's largest LCD panel producers, is now facing a maximum fine of $1 billion.

The price fixing scheme, which lasted from 2001 to 2006, involved AU Optronics meeting with their competitors to fix the prices for thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels, which are used in computer monitors, laptops, televisions and mobile phones. The prices were fixed at monthly meetings secretly held at hotels, karaoke bars and tea rooms in Taiwan, DOJ said.

AU Optronics said in a statement it was "deeply disappointed" with the verdict, but that it will appeal the jury's decision, along with any fine given. The company said it questions whether any meetings that occurred in Taiwan falls under the scope of U.S. law. AU Optronics also said it had priced its products below the standard selling rate for them from 2001 to 2006.

Seven other companies have also pleaded guilty to related charges of LCD price fixing, resulting from the DOJ investigations. In total, they paid $890 million in fines, while 10 former executives from the companies pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison, DOJ said.

The two former AU Optronics executives found guilty were former company president Hsuan Bin Chen and former executive president Hui Hsiung. Former company director Lai-Juh Chen and former senior manager Tsannrong Lee, however were found not guilty. A mistrial was declared for former senior manager Hsiu Lung Leung.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?