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January 7, 2013

China slaps $56.6m fine on LCD makers for price fixing

Nearly 5.15 million LCD panels related to the price-fixing case were sold in mainland China

By CBR Staff Writer

National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China has imposed $56.6m in fines against six South Korean and Taiwanese liquid-crystal-display (LCD) screen makers over price fixing.

The fine was the result of of a six-year probe by the European Union, South Korea and the US.

The alleged firms include South Korea’s LG Display and Samsung Electronics; Taiwan’s Innolux, AU Optronics, Chungwa Picture Tubes and HannStar Display,

Each of the firms met monthly between 2001 and 2006 to fix their price for LCD panels.

NDRC said that when selling LCD panels in mainland China, the enterprises involved had manipulated market prices based on information exchanged during their meetings.

"This has harmed the legitimate rights of other manufacturers and consumers," the commission said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, penalties against the six firms included an order that they return a collective $27.6m to domestic colour TV makers that purchased the display screens during the period.

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The commission also said that the firms assured they would increase the 18-month warranty on their manufactured products to 36 months.

An LG spokesperson told the The Next Web that the decision released by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission concerns LCD panel price-fixing between 2001 and 2006.

"We do not expect this decision to impact our relationship with customers or panel sales. LG Display remains committed to operating with full transparency in providing the best quality products and services to its global customers."

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