Late last month we reported on some execs at Chimei illegally fixing prices in the LCD space for their own profit. They got chucked in the nick. Now New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has spoken out against the anticompetitive measures, issuing a lawsuit against a range of high profile manufacturers.
Chimei, of course, is a suspect - but execs are already doing time in the clink after admitting guilt. Other names are Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi, LG, AU Optronics, CMO Japan and a range of affiliates in the US.
Cuomo suggested that New Yorkers and their cities have been well and truly, utterly screwed over by the alleged syndicate, wasting millions of dollars on LCD screens through overcharging. He wants to get the dosh back.
The Department of Justice has formally charged 18 executives across eight companies for involvement with agreeing to price fixing on TFT-LCD panels at predetermined pricepoints - as well as issuing each other price quotes to keep up to date on panel sales so the syndicate could keep up with the agreements.
It's thought the conspiracy has been active for years now, going back as far as 1996, getting rumbled and coming to a close years later in 2006.
The lawsuit says, according to Associated Press: "The state purchasers on whose behalf this action is brought - and the taxpayers whose dollars financed those purchases - have sufered substantial damages stemming from defendants' unlawful conspiracy." A spokesman told AP that New York will be seeking damages somewhere in the tens of millions of dollars. Fortunately for the industry that is worth more billions than the Average Joe can fathom, that's just another golden TFT-LCD back scratcher.
However if other states have a think about how much they've been screwed out of, it could all add up to a sizeable sum. In the meantime, it's back to flogging that oversupply, Taiwan! You too, Korea!