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Penalties levied on LCD makers (2)

By LAN LAN  (China Daily)

08:08, January 05, 2013

The display makers "manipulated market prices and damaged the lawful interests of other companies and consumers," the mainland's major economic policymaking body, the National Development and Reform Commission, said in a statement.

US prosecutors say some $74 billion in global sales of LCDs were affected by the conspiracy. Customers included Apple, Dell and other producers of TVs, notebook computers and other electronics.

The ruling was based on the Price Law, not its newer anti-trust law, because the anti-trust law was issued after that period, the NDRC said.

"If the case was penalized based on the anti-trust law, these companies would face fines of a large percentage of their revenues, which would be much higher," it said.

Lu Renbo, deputy secretary-general of China Electronic Chamber of Commerce, said mainland TV manufacturers were the biggest victims of the price fixing.

"LCD screens account for about 80 percent of the overall costs of color television sets. The mainland produced about half of the world's televisions but at that time all screens were imported," said Lu.

The six suppliers were fined for allegedly getting involved in driving up prices for 5.14 million LCD panels sold by the companies between 2001 and 2006, overcharging the flat-screen television manufacturers.

Samsung Electronics will pay 101 million yuan and LG Display will pay 119 million yuan, while Taiwan's AU Optronics, Innolux Corp, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and HannStar Display need to pay their portion.

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