South Korean and Taiwanese firms run price cartel on TV screens

The EU competition watchdog fined one South Korean and four Taiwanese electronics companies more than $850m for colluding to fix prices on LCD screens for televisions and computers between 2001 and 2006. The companies involved include:
– LG Display (South Korea)
– AU Optronics
– Chimei InnoLux Corporation,
– Chunghwa Picture Tubes
– HannStar Display Corporation

“Foreign companies, like European ones, need to understand that if they want to do business in Europe they must play fair,” European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement. The EU found that the companies held monthly meetings, usually in hotels in Taiwan, to agree on price ranges and minimum prices. From the BBC – Dubbed “the Crystal meetings”, these traded information on future production planning, capacity utilisation, pricing and other commercial conditions. Competition regulators started investigating the cartel in 2006, in the United States and Asia as well as in Europe. LG and Chunghwa, along with Japanese firm Sharp, pleaded guilty in the United States and were fined there in November 2008.

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