LG Display Settles Price-Fix Claims With Eight States

LG Display Co. (034220) reached a settlement with eight U.S. states and consumers over claims that the company colluded with other makers of liquid-crystal displays to fix prices.

The company said yesterday in a regulatory filing that it reached an agreement in principle with a class of so-called indirect purchasers and with the attorneys general of Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Terms of the settlement, which must be approved by a judge, weren’t disclosed.

The settlement doesn’t resolve claims by Illinois, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Washington, according to the filing.

Sharp Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and five other makers of thin-film-transistor LCD panels used in computers and televisions agreed in December to pay $538.6 million to settle antitrust claims by indirect purchasers. The cases are consolidated in federal court in San Francisco. A jury trial is scheduled to start this month.

Bong-Soo Lee, a spokesman for Seoul-based LG Display, didn’t immediately respond yesterday to an e-mail seeking comment on the terms of the settlements. Brad Brian, a Los Angeles-based lawyer for the company, didn’t immediately return a call to his office.

AU Optronics, Toshiba

Joseph Alioto, a lawyer for the class-action plaintiffs, said that all panel makers have now agreed to settle with the consumers, including Hsinchu, Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp. (2409) and Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp. (6502), which weren’t part of the settlement announced in December.

The terms of the settlement will be disclosed in court filings seeking preliminary approval, Alioto said in a phone interview.

Christopher Nedeau, a lawyer for AU Optronics, declined to comment on the settlement. Christopher Curran, a lawyer for Toshiba in New York, didn’t immediately return a call to his office seeking comment on it yesterday.

The case is In Re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, 07-01827, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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