Big companies in the LCD manufacturing business, like LG and Samsung, which are Apple suppliers, have agreed to pay over a billion dollars in price fixing settlements. According to The Wall Street Journal, a total of $1.12 billion in damages will be paid by LCD makers. The biggest settlement payout is from LG Display Co., which has agreed to pay $380 million in damages. LG is the world’s second-largest producer of LCD displays by sales after Samsung. The settlement will be used to pay out companies and individuals affected by the practice, as well as state fines for the anti-competitive practices.
From The Wall Street Journal:
[quote]Mr. Alioto said a system will be set up to help consumers and companies claim their share of the combined $1.12 billion in damages. “Companies who fill out the forms could receive substantial amounts,” he said, adding that claims could stretch back more than a decade, and he is concerned not everyone will have the right documentation of how much they paid and when.[/quote]
AU Optronics Corp. has agreed to settle for $170 million and Toshiba Corp. is paying $21 million. This is on top of settlement agreements made earlier in the year by seven other companies, including Samsung, who agreed to pay $240 million.
According to Apple Insider, when the case began in 2008, prosecutors argued that Apple was one of the device makers that was a victim of a price fixing scheme by LCD manufacturers. While companies like Toshiba and LG have agreed to settle, they deny having done anything wrong and are agreeing to settle only to end the ongoing legal dispute.
Some of Apple’s biggest LCD suppliers are among the companies that agreed to settle. Samsung is reportedly the only company to have produced Retina displays for the launch of the third-generation iPad earlier this year and LG is assumed to step up at some point as the company provided LCDs for earlier iPad models.