China slaps LCD makers, including Samsung and LG, with $56m penalty for price fixing

China slaps LCD makers, including Samsung and LG, with $56m penalty for price fixing

China’s National Development and Reform Commission has issued a hefty penalty totaling $56 million (353 million RMB) against several foreign LCD makers, including Samsung and LG, for monopolistic behavior and a price-fixing conspiracy.

China News reports that Samsung’s portion of the fine was $16.2 million (101 million RMB) and LG’s penalty was $18.9 million (119 million RMB). Taiwan’s CMO, AUO, CPT and HannStar were also named in the judgment.

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At issue were 5.14 million LCD panels sold by the companies from 2001 to 2006. Samsung was on the hook for 826,000 units, while LG was responsible for 1.9 million displays. The LCD makers were accused of holding “Crystal Conferences” where they allegedly colluded on panel pricing for the mainland market.

NDRC official Xu Kunlin told local reporters that corrective measures have been proposed to the companies going forward. Those include abiding by Chinese laws, protecting competition in the market and ensuring the rights and interests of operators and consumers. It also includes guarantees to deal fairly with Chinese TV businesses with respect to sourcing and warranty service.

Update: An LG spokesperson sent the following statement to TNW:

“The decision released today in China by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission concerns LCD panel price-fixing between 2001 and 2006.  We do not expect this decision to impact our relationship with customers or panel sales. LG Display remains committed to operating with full transparency in providing the best quality products and services to its global customers.”

Image credit: PhotoXpress

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