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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    The irony of Samsung getting fined!

  • Reply 2 of 37
    sleepy3sleepy3 Posts: 244member


    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? 

  • Reply 3 of 37
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member

    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?

  • Reply 4 of 37
    tooltalktooltalk Posts: 766member
    apparently laywers get 30% of the settlement. Nice!
  • Reply 5 of 37
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member


    Where's my check?

  • Reply 6 of 37
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Where's my check?



     


    Probably 'in the mail'.

  • Reply 7 of 37
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member


    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.  

  • Reply 8 of 37
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,121member
    sleepy3 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,756member

    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 37

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 37
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,242member


    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.

     

  • Reply 13 of 37
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,973member
    gtr wrote: »
    The irony of Samsung getting fined!

    Only Apple is evil. Remember that.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    cameronj wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Where's my check?!?!?!
  • Reply 16 of 37
    haarhaar Posts: 563member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Where's my check?



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post


     


    Probably 'in the mail'.



    classic!... 

  • Reply 17 of 37
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    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!

  • Reply 19 of 37
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,121member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 37
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    gtr wrote: »
    The irony of Samsung getting fined!

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