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LCDs (Liquid-Crystal Displays)

Related Lawyers: Michael P. Lehmann, Christopher L. Lebsock
Related Practice Areas: Antitrust / Competition

In re: TFT-LCD Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1827, N.D. Cal.- Hausfeld was among the counsel for a putative class of direct purchaser plaintiffs in this antitrust class action in which plaintiffs alleged price-fixing by the leading manufacturers of Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Display (“TFT-LCD”) panels.

TFT-LCDs are used in a number of products, including computer monitors, televisions, and cellular telephones. Plaintiffs alleged that the price-fixing affected both the panels manufactured by the defendants, as well as products manufactured by the defendants that contain their panels.

The manufacturer defendants are based in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States, and control the majority of the TFT-LCD industry, a multibillion dollar market. On November 12, 2008, in related criminal proceedings brought by the United States Department of Justice (the “DOJ”), the DOJ announced that it had reached agreements with three TFT-LCD manufacturers – LG Display Co. Ltd. (and its U.S. subsidiary, LG Display America Inc.), Sharp Corporation, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd. – to plead guilty and pay a total of $585 million in criminal fines for their roles in the conspiracy to fix prices of TFT-LCD panels.

Settlements with most of the defendants totaling $405 million were finally approved in December 2011 and a trial against certain Toshiba entities—the last group of defendants—commenced in May of 2012. The jury entered a verdict against the Toshiba entities who then settled for $30 million. Final approval of that settlement and one with AU Optronics for $38 million was entered in December of 2012. More about these settlements can be found here.

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