and two other companies are going to receive a combined $198.5 million payment from Sharp
to settle a civil lawsuit brought forth against a group of companies for setting artificially high prices for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. Sharp, along with several other companies, was found guilty of price fixing following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and was already dinged for $120 million in fines. This $198.5 million payment is in addition to money already paid.
"After broadly considering factors such as the U.S. civil lawsuit system and the facts of this case, Sharp has determined that agreeing to a settlement is the best policy," Sharp said in a statement.
As of December 2010, over $890 million in fines had been issued and obtained in relation to LCD price fixing. With this latest settlement, that number is now over a billion dollars, and counting.
The price fixing brouhaha dates back to 2007 in which rival LCD makers were accused of meeting in secret at places like karaoke bars, tea rooms, and hotel conference rooms in a scheme to inflate panel prices.