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China fines LG, Samsung in flat panel price case

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 4, 2013 at 4:15 am •  Published: January 4, 2013

After the EU fined companies in 2010, a major Chi Mei shareholder, Terry Gou, said price-fixing was led by Samsung Display and LG Display, the second-biggest panel manufacturer. Gou is chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which assembles electronics for Apple Inc. and other companies but does not make display screens.

Samsung Display doesn't dispute the Chinese government's statement, said a company official contacted by phone Friday in Seoul. He refused to be identified by name, citing company rules, but said his comments reflected Samsung Display's official position.

The company will "strengthen training" so employees do not engage in price-fixing in the future, the official said.

In a written statement, LG Display said it "remains committed to operating with full transparency in providing the best quality products and services to its global customers."

Chi Mei, which has been renamed Innolux Corp., said in a statement it has set aside money to pay the fines, indicating it would not appeal. Spokespeople for AU Optronics and Chunghwa Picture Tubes said the companies would cooperate with investigators.

Employees who answered the phone at Hannstar said company officials who could comment were not available.

In the United States, a former president and executive vice president of AU Optronics were sentenced by a federal court in September to three years in prison in what prosecutors said was the most severe penalty imposed in an antitrust case. The company was fined $500 million.

In July, AU Optronics, along with Toshiba and LG, agreed to pay a combined $571 million to settle a lawsuit by customers. Other manufacturers, including Hitachi, Sharp and Samsung, agreed in December to pay $538 million to settle.

Seven other Asian manufacturers and 22 other executives have pleaded guilty in U.S. courts and agreed to pay a combined $890 million in fines.


Associated Press writers Sam Kim in Seoul and Annie Huang in Taipei and researcher Fu Ting in Shanghai contributed.


National Development and Reform Commission (in Chinese):