Monday, April 19, 2021

U.S. Seeks $1 Billion Price-Fixing Fine for AU Optronics

Wall Street Journal: The U.S. Justice Department is requesting that the courts impose a $1 billion fine on Taiwan-based AU Optronics, as well as 10-year prison sentences and additional $1 million fines on two company executives. In March, AU Optronics was convicted of participating in a price fixing scheme related to LCD panels. “These defendants were central figures in the most serious price-fixing cartel ever prosecuted by the United States,” the Justice Department said. “Only these sentences could possibly reflect the seriousness of this offense or provide adequate deterrence.”

Apple, Dell, HP and many other manufacturers were all affected by the price fixing, and the Justice Department noted that the scheme ultimately “affected every family, school, business, charity and government agency that paid more to purchase notebook computers, computer monitors, and LCD televisions during the conspiracy.”

LG Display, Sharp and five other companies were convicted on related charges and have agreed to pay more than $890 million in fines. AU Optronics will be sentenced Sept. 20.

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