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December 5, 2012

HP sues Taiwanese LCD screen makers for alleged price fixing

The current lawsuit comes after HP witnessed heavy criticism for the $8.8bn writedown associated to its acquisition of UK software firm Autonomy

By CBR Staff Writer

US based computer maker HP has filed a lawsuit against the Taiwanese LCD screen makers over price-fixing that alleged to have caused the company over $1bn (£620.2m) in damages.

The firm has accused Taiwan based Chunghwa Picture Tubes and its subsidiary Tatung Company of America of collaborating with other LCD makers to set prices and limit output for panels during 1998 to 2006 and is seeking damages.

During antitrust investigation by US and European authorities of price-fixing involving screens used in devices including notebooks and TVs, many Asian display makers had settled with governments and other litigants by paying stiff fines.

Firms including Chunghwa, South Korea based Samsung Electronics and Japan based Sharp have paid steep penalties, while in September 2012, a court in the US had fined Taiwanese firm AU Optronics about $500m.

The current lawsuit comes after HP witnessed heavy criticism for the $8.8bn writedown associated to its acquisition of UK software firm Autonomy.

HP is also struggling with worldwide decline in PC sales, a trend which the firm hoped would be counterbalanced following the acquisition of Autonomy.

In 2006 Chunghwa was first probed for price-fixing allegation by EU and asked to pay a fine of €9m and settle a class-action suit filed by a US consumer group.

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