LG and Samsung found guilty of LCD price fixing

Samsung Electronics and LG have been fined for price fixing by the Chinese government.

The duo were part of a cartel including AUO, Innolux, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and HannStar, to be found guilty of price fixing and ordered to pay a total of $56.7 million (353 million yuan).

According to Bloomberg, the cartel met up on roughly 53 occasions, conducting meetings in Taiwan and South Korea between 2001 and 2006 to agree on prices for LCD panels.

They also divulged other confidential information, which could have had a detrimental effect on market prices, the China commission said.

It added that the moves by the companies had harmed the legitimate rights and interests of the domestic colour TV enterprises and consumers.

However, it seems that the group was quick to try to appease officials and “confessed to their crimes,” the agency said.

Samsung claimed it had stopped participating in any form of price fixing at the end of 2005, LG said it had been behaving since 2006, while AUO said the decision would have no impact on its company operations.

This isn’t the first time the companies have been found guilty of such crimes. In October 2011 fines totalling $175 million were dished out to Samsung, LG, AU Optronics and Chimei Innolux after the  Korean Fair Trade Commission found them guilty of colluded on minimum prices, pricing policies, timing of price increases and a ban on cash rebates between 2001 and 2006.

Samsung and LG were also found guilty of mobile price fixing early last year.