AU Optronics head told he must stay in the US

The chief executive of AU Optronics has been prevented from leaving America while the US Justice Department investigates alleged price fixing by the company.

Chen Lai-juh has been told to stay in the US following visiting the country voluntarily to attend the pretrial hearing and claiming he is innocent.

His company, alongside Chimei, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi, LG, CMO Japan and a range of affiliates in the US are all under suspicion for allegedly pricing fixing LCD TVs and conning US citizens out of “millions of dollars.”

AU Optronics said in a statement obtained by the NY Times that its company operations were unaffected by the U.S. court decision to bar Mr. Chen as well as Vice Chairman Chen Hsuan-bin from leaving the U.S. amid the ongoing investigation.

It added that when senior executives were travelling, their duties were covered by acting executives. The company will continue to work with U.S. authorities on the case, she added.

The allegations against the company have been running since June when a jury in San Francisco pointed the finger at AU Optronics’ Houston-based U.S. subsidiary and six company officials, including the CEO and vice chairman, on charges of conspiring to fix prices of LCD panels world-wide from September 2001 to December 2006.

It follows an investigation going back to 2006 where a range of manufacturers were pinpointed for price fixing claims.