Chi Mei Opto sales exec jailed for LCD price fixing

A sales exec for Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp has been jailed in the US for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices of LCDs.

Chu-hsiang “James” Yang agreed to a prison sentence of 270 days and a fine of $25,000 after pleading guilty in a US Federal Court in San Francisco for participating in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices of LCD panels sold in the US from 2004 to 2006.

Although the max penalty for price fixing is 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine, Yang was let off the hook after he helped prosecutors during the investigation. However a judge will still need to approve the sentence today.

Chi Mei pleaded guilty in December and agreed to pay US$220 million in fines. The investigation has led to more than US$860 million in fines for LCD makers and guilty pleas by at least four executives.

This isn’t the first time a company has been done for LCD price fixing. In March this year Dell sued  five LCD makers, complaining that they fixed prices for products.

And in January Electrograph Systems Inc  sued Epson, Hitachi, Sharp, Toshiba, Toshiba Matsushita, Sanyo, LG Display, Samsung, AU Optronics, Chi Mei Optoelectronics, CMO Japan, Nexgen Mediatech, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Tatung, Hannstar Display and Mitsui & Co claiming price fixing.