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Apple LCD suppliers to pay $1.12B in price fixing settlements

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
The biggest names in the LCD manufacturing business, including key Apple suppliers LG and Samsung, will pay out over a billion dollars to settle a price fixing class-action lawsuit.

A total of $1.12 billion in damages will be collected from LCD makers, following the latest round of settlements announced this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. The largest settlement payout will come from LG Display Co., which has agreed to pay $380 million in damages.

AU Optronics Corp. will also settle for $170 million, while Toshiba Corp. agreed to pay $21 million. That's in addition to settlement agreements made earlier this year by seven other companies such as Samsung, which agreed to pay $240 million.

Prosecutors in the case, which began in 2008, asserted that Apple was among a number of device makers who were victims of a price fixing scheme by LCD manufacturers. Customers affected by the alleged scheme could receive "substantial amounts" of money, according to San Francisco-based attorney Joseph Alioto.

Companies who agreed to settle, including Toshiba and LG, have denied any wrongdoing, but say they agreed to settle to end the ongoing legal dispute.

iPad 3


The companies that have agreed to settle in the case include some of Apple's most prominent LCD suppliers. Samsung is believed to have been the only company to have produced Retina displays for the third-generation iPad at launch earlier this year, while LG is expected to jump in at some point, having provided LCDs for previous-generation iPads.
post #2 of 38

The irony of Samsung getting fined!

Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

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Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
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post #3 of 38

Happy to see this news. The last thing we need is price fixing as all this does in the end is screw over the customer. 

 

I know its not the same thing, but the way that OPEC operates should be investigated as well. Why are they allowed to collaborate and set production volumes to influence prices? 

post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

Happy to see this news. The last thing we need is price fixing as all this does in the end is screw over the customer. 

 

I know its not the same thing, but the way that OPEC operates should be investigated as well. Why are they allowed to collaborate and set production volumes to influence prices? 


Why would not they be? Your question is comparable to asking "why are American companies allowed to set salaries when they could be set by an international body?" (yeah, that suggest "Indonesian salary-level for everyone except Ballmer-types")

Think again. You do NOT want some opaque ruling machine to decide what is, or is not, a good thing for the world, and what rules countries should follow when it comes to their production. Setting rules inside your own countries is good, even though liberalism would dictate "as few of them as possible". Setting rules for others is bad.

 

One more thing: it could make sense that OPEC limits the production volume to enable oil use by further generations and prevent excessive pollution-per-year, and evil to try to prevent such a limit. Who decides what's the right behavior? How to prevent your (not you, sleepy3, but you "the person in charge") personal interest from biasing your decision? Example: An American would have most interest to have cheap oil. Anyone else than an American may observe that America is the biggest energy-user/polluter in the world, and think "how is America allowed to do that"?

 

OPEC is a group of countries that exists to enable those countries to negotiate their resources at the best possible price for them. That's what it's for. It was born from the fact that until 1960, oil companies (mainly British and American) abused their (Western-governements-militarily-backed, see why Persia's now called Iran if you doubt the military part) negotation power.

 

Conclusion: That's why OPEC is "allowed" to negotiate prices. Because if they weren't "allowed", then it would mean prices would be set by the Western world. In essence, the powerful, rich and pampered countries of the west would reap the riches of the world, and steal what is rightly Iranese, Saudi, or Venezuelian (etc). Don't you think the West does enough of that already?


Edited by lightknight - 7/13/12 at 6:00am

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #5 of 38
apparently laywers get 30% of the settlement. Nice!
post #6 of 38

Where's my check?

post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Where's my check?

 

Probably 'in the mail'.

Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
post #8 of 38

If Apple wants to turn this into a headline, they should refund whatever portion of the settlement can be applied to each purchase of an affected computer.  That would highlight the fact that the PC makers are not doing the same thing, which they really can't because this settlement will probably account for most of the PC makers' profits on the systems in question.  

post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

Happy to see this news. The last thing we need is price fixing as all this does in the end is screw over the customer. 

I know its not the same thing, but the way that OPEC operates should be investigated as well. Why are they allowed to collaborate and set production volumes to influence prices? 

The notion of 'sovereign immunity' is an important underpinning of international law. OPEC is a group of sovereign nations, unfortunately.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


Why would not they be? Your question is comparable to asking "why are American companies allowed to set salaries when they could be set by an international body?" (yeah, that suggest "Indonesian salary-level for everyone except Ballmer-types")
Think again. You do NOT want some opaque ruling machine to decide what is, or is not, a good thing for the world, and what rules countries should follow when it comes to their production.
Especially when such logic leads to other people (usually lazy people) controlling how much you can earn.
Quote:
Setting rules inside your own countries is good, even though liberalism would dictate "as few of them as possible". Setting rules for others is bad.
Boy you got that one wrong. Liberalism is all about excessive control.
Quote:
One more thing: it could make sense that OPEC limits the production volume to enable oil use by further generations and prevent excessive pollution-per-year, and evil to try to prevent such a limit. Who decides what's the right behavior? How to prevent your (not you, sleepy3, but you "the person in charge") personal interest from biasing your decision?
The problem crops up when you have domestic companies or decisions break laws in your country. There isn't much one can do with industries based entirely outside of your country.
Quote:
Example: An American would have most interest to have cheap oil. Anyone else than an American may observe that America is the biggest energy-user/polluter in the world, and think "how is America allowed to do that"?

OPEC is a group of countries that exists to enable those countries to negotiate their resources at the best possible price for them. That's what it's for. It was born from the fact that until 1960, oil companies (mainly British and American) abused their (Western-governements-militarily-backed, see why Persia's now called Iran if you doubt the military part) negotation power.
That is one way to look at it. A more rational way to look at it, especially now that we are more enlightened about the people in the middle east, is that for the most part you are dealing with animals. It could be argued that the world was far better off with heavy and sustained intervention in the middle east than the hands off approach we have now.
Quote:
Conclusion: That's why OPEC is "allowed" to negotiate prices. Because if they weren't "allowed", then it would mean prices would be set by the Western world. In essence, the powerful, rich and pampered countries of the west would reap the riches of the world, and steal what is rightly Iranese, Saudi, or Venezuelian (etc). Don't you think the West does enough of that already?
As a producer you have certain rights to price your product. Your characterization of theft though is outrageous, the product was being paid for either way. What OPEC exploited was a dependence upon a product and did so from establishments outside the USA, often by stealing capital from the USA. The difference here is that many of the business involved in the LCD panel industry have a legal presence in the US that can be targetted for enforcement of the laws of the land.

In the end a rational person has to ask himself if we took the right route dealing with the OPEC nations when they first formed. It can be rationally argued that military intervention when OPEC formed, would have eliminated much of the trouble currently existing in the world today.
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

Conclusion: That's why OPEC is "allowed" to negotiate prices. Because if they weren't "allowed", then it would mean prices would be set by the Western world. In essence, the powerful, rich and pampered countries of the west would reap the riches of the world, and steal what is rightly Iranese, Saudi, or Venezuelian (etc). Don't you think the West does enough of that already?

Those poor Suadi's with their golden bathtubs. The opulence and waste is hardly a good example of the downtrodden middle east. Just an FYI, it's not stealing if the owners sell it. OPEC exists to maximize profits. Nothing more complicated than that. Claiming some altruistic goal 'for future generations' is bullshit. They collude and set a price that the market will bare and while maximizing profits. In a few hundred years they'll be irrelevant as far as oil is concerned, and good riddance.
Edited by DJRumpy - 7/13/12 at 7:05am
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post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

 

I know its not the same thing, but the way that OPEC operates should be investigated as well. Why are they allowed to collaborate and set production volumes to influence prices? 

 

OPEC is not subject to US jurisdiction.

post #13 of 38

It is not hard to figure something was rotten [once more] when my HP LP2475w went for just over $400 with a top of the line S-IPS panel and lots of bells and whistles to a cheaper product today for nearly $300 more.
 

post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

The irony of Samsung getting fined!

Only Apple is evil. Remember that.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

If Apple wants to turn this into a headline, they should refund whatever portion of the settlement can be applied to each purchase of an affected computer.  That would highlight the fact that the PC makers are not doing the same thing, which they really can't because this settlement will probably account for most of the PC makers' profits on the systems in question.  

The only problem with that is that Apple is probably not the one receiving the money. Usually, these fines go to the government and the companies agree to stop price fixing - so Apple would benefit going forward but not for the past infractions. They could theoretically announce a price cut based on the likely reduction in LCD screen prices, but that's not likely to happen. The dollars per device are relatively small (Apple might pay $35 for an iPad 3 screen instead of $40) - and not enough to disrupt their pricing schedule.
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post #16 of 38
Where's my check?!?!?!
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Where's my check?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

Probably 'in the mail'.

classic!... 

post #18 of 38
THIS HAPPENS EVERY FEW YEARS.

Here. I have an idea: 400 billion dollars. Pooled.

And THEN forcibly break the companies up so it's harder to collude.
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


Only Apple is evil. Remember that.

 

Sorry!

 

Forgot.

 

I stand corrected:

 

Apple is Doomed!

 

Sorry again!

 

Apple IS the Doom!

Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

 

OPEC is not subject to US jurisdiction.

That has nothing to do with it. Any group of private non-US companies doing business in the US can be sued by the DoJ under antitrust laws, but only for the US piece of their business. Just as any country can go after US companies over business that they do there. That is, for example, how the EU was able to stop GE's merger with Honeywell (both US companies).

 

OPEC is an instance of sovereign immunity, plain and simple.


Edited by anantksundaram - 7/13/12 at 7:24am
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

The irony of Samsung getting fined!

And the shock of Apple being mentioned in an article about price fixing -- as a victim.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

If Apple wants to turn this into a headline, they should refund whatever portion of the settlement can be applied to each purchase of an affected computer.  

Which is likely pennies if anything. Not worth the fuss to track everyone down and spent $5 a person for a $1 check,

If Apple was to do anything it might be some kind of refund for those that had to pay for replacing a faulty display, partial at least due to 'jacked up' pricing.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #23 of 38

Have you download the app? There must be an app for that.lol.gif

post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

. What OPEC exploited was a dependence upon a product and did so from establishments outside the USA, often by stealing capital from the USA.

What's ironic is that they may have had a fair price on those parts, at
least in the eyes of the buyers, but because they sat down and agreed to set price or range of prices amongest themselves they are in trouble.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That has nothing to do with it. Any group of private non-US companies doing business in the US can be sued by the DoJ under antitrust laws,...

 

OPEC is an instance of sovereign immunity, plain and simple.

 

 

 

Then why are you disagreeing with me?   I thought at first you were under the impression that OPEC was  "group of private non-US companies doing business in the US".

 

Clearly you understnd that this is irrelevant - so why did you even bring it up?

post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


And the shock of Apple being mentioned in an article about price fixing -- as a victim.

 

 

Personally, I doubt that Apple was victimized by the collusion.  It is my impression that Apple is able to negotiate favorable deals, no matter what others might be paying.

 

They are not price takers like a small company might be.  Instead, they are a force to be reckoned with.  

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

 

 

Then why are you disagreeing with me?   I thought at first you were under the impression that OPEC was  "group of private non-US companies doing business in the US".

 

Clearly you understnd that this is irrelevant - so why did you even bring it up?

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge."

post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

What's ironic is that they may have had a fair price on those parts, at
least in the eyes of the buyers, but because they sat down and agreed to set price or range of prices amongest themselves they are in trouble.

I don't think it's at all ironic. It's impossible to rise to the level of CEO of a major global company without realizing that colluding with the competition is illegal. Even if you agree to set prices LOWER than the free market would otherwise reach, it's still illegal (although proving harm and assessing damages might be difficult).

If the CEOs were involved, there's no excuse at all. If the collusion occurred at a much lower level and without the involvement of management, it indicates a failure of the training and supervision programs, but might not directly implicate the CEOs.

However, given the magnitude of the fines, there must have been some pretty solid evidence for the companies to agree.
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post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

 

 

Personally, I doubt that Apple was victimized by the collusion.  It is my impression that Apple is able to negotiate favorable deals, no matter what others might be paying.

 

They are not price takers like a small company might be.  Instead, they are a force to be reckoned with.  

 

Actually, they should have been able to negotiate even more favorable deals. The size of their panel orders not being as low as analysts projected would be one of the original red flags.

post #30 of 38
Samsung. No surprise here.
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post


Personally, I doubt that Apple was victimized by the collusion.  It is my impression that Apple is able to negotiate favorable deals, no matter what others might be paying.

They are not price takers like a small company might be.  Instead, they are a force to be reckoned with.  

Maybe, maybe not. Apple likely looks for a discount off of market price. If the market price is artificially high because of collusion, Apple might still be paying more than if they negotiated a deal based on a lower market price.

Alternatively, the manufacturers could have used their extra revenues from overcharging the rest of the OEMs to provide even greater discounts to Apple.

No one knows for sure what Apple's price is today or what it would have been under other scenarios, but it's fallacious to pretend that it couldn't have changed Apple's price.
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post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Maybe, maybe not. Apple likely looks for a discount off of market price. If the market price is artificially high because of collusion, Apple might still be paying more than if they negotiated a deal based on a lower market price.
Alternatively, the manufacturers could have used their extra revenues from overcharging the rest of the OEMs to provide even greater discounts to Apple.
No one knows for sure what Apple's price is today or what it would have been under other scenarios, but it's fallacious to pretend that it couldn't have changed Apple's price.

 

 

Had I said  that "it couldn't have changed Apple's price", then you might have a point.

 

Given that I never said that, you have much less than that.

post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


The only problem with that is that Apple is probably not the one receiving the money. Usually, these fines go to the government and the companies agree to stop price fixing - so Apple would benefit going forward but not for the past infractions. They could theoretically announce a price cut based on the likely reduction in LCD screen prices, but that's not likely to happen. The dollars per device are relatively small (Apple might pay $35 for an iPad 3 screen instead of $40) - and not enough to disrupt their pricing schedule.

 

What would make you think that the victims of the price fixing wouldn't get paid out from this?  Goes against logic as well as what the article clearly states.

 

 


 

Quote:
Prosecutors in the case, which began in 2008, asserted that Apple was among a number of device makers who were victims of a price fixing scheme by LCD manufacturers. Customers affected by the alleged scheme could receive "substantial amounts" of money, according to San Francisco-based attorney Joseph Alioto.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

 

What would make you think that the victims of the price fixing wouldn't get paid out from this?  Goes against logic as well as what the article clearly states.

 

 


 

 

 

Wait.  That's a rhetorical question, right?  

 

Since when have logic or clearly stated prose made any difference in these situations?

post #35 of 38

This latest case is about Toshiba, LG and AUO.
 

What great way to throw in Samsung into the mix AI.

 

Either way, none of you people will get a check in the mail.

 

The biggest winners are, obviously, the lawyers.

 

Sucks to be you all.

 

This is why I stick with OLED. :D

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post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

Happy to see this news. The last thing we need is price fixing as all this does in the end is screw over the customer. 

 

I know its not the same thing, but the way that OPEC operates should be investigated as well. Why are they allowed to collaborate and set production volumes to influence prices? 

Perhaps because they aren't under US jurisdiction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

If Apple wants to turn this into a headline, they should refund whatever portion of the settlement can be applied to each purchase of an affected computer.  That would highlight the fact that the PC makers are not doing the same thing, which they really can't because this settlement will probably account for most of the PC makers' profits on the systems in question.  

I don't have a WSJ subscription, which is required for access to the full article. Is Apple actually receiving part of this fine? Somehow I doubt it. I also doubt they overpaid, although Samsung and LG do basically have a duopoly going there even without any form of collusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post


Those poor Suadi's with their golden bathtubs. The opulence and waste is hardly a good example of the downtrodden middle east. Just an FYI, it's not stealing if the owners sell it. OPEC exists to maximize profits. Nothing more complicated than that. Claiming some altruistic goal 'for future generations' is bullshit. They collude and set a price that the market will bare and while maximizing profits. In a few hundred years they'll be irrelevant as far as oil is concerned, and good riddance.

You should really look at more more than their ruling family when passing judgment there. Do a quick google search and perhaps you'll read about some of the problems experienced by their citizens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

It is not hard to figure something was rotten [once more] when my HP LP2475w went for just over $400 with a top of the line S-IPS panel and lots of bells and whistles to a cheaper product today for nearly $300 more.
 


Interestingly LG panels were not used in most of the higher end displays a few years ago. Others presumably got out due to waning margins, but Hitachi, Mitsubishi, and NEC panels were much more common in displays in the $1k+ range 3-4 years ago.

post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

This is why I stick with OLED. :D

 

It must be hard to use a PC with a sub 5" screen, watching TV wouldn't be much good either.

 

Which is why you probably don't "stick with oled".

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post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

It must be hard to use a PC with a sub 5" screen, watching TV wouldn't be much good either.

Which is why you probably don't "stick with oled".

True, however, it looks like OLED might finally make it to TVs:
http://news.consumerreports.org/electronics/2012/01/ces-2012-lg-announces-thinnest-largest-oled-tv.html

Of course, at $6-8 K, it will be a few more years before they bring the price down enough for them to hit the mass market, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
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