LCD makers got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak, and now it's time to pay up. The State of California Department of Justice announced a $538 million settlement resulting from a lawsuit filed in October 2010 against 10 companies who allegedly "conspired to fix, raise, maintain, or stabilize prices of TFT-LCD flat panels resulting in overcharges to consumers."
The settlement applies to products with LCD panels (computer monitors, laptops, and PCs) purchased between 1999 and 2006, though only if you live in the District of Columbia or one of 24 states named in the settlement, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Companies who agreed to settle have set up a $538 million fund that breaks down as follows:
- Samsung: $240 million
- Sharp: $115.5 million
- Chimei: $110.3 million
- Hitachi: $38.98 million
- Hannstar: $25.65 million
- Chunghwa: $5.3 million
- Epson: $2.85 million
Non-settling defendants include AU Optronics Corporation, LG, and Toshiba. If you qualify for part of the settlement, you can find more information on how to submit a claim by going here.