Nokia sues LCD makers for price fixing

Nokia today said it is suing display manufacturers Samsung, LG, Philips, Toshiba and others for price-fixing, claiming it has paid too much for displays and wants some of its money back.

Nokia has filed suits against the display manufacturers in the U.S. and U.K. related to LCD screens, and another suit in the U.K. related to CRT (cathode ray tube) displays. Nokia didn't elaborate on how much money it wants, but it's after damages for products sold between Jan.1, 2006, and at least Dec. 11, 2006, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

That companies LG, Sharp and Hitachi have already pleaded guilty to price-fixing on LCD displays and paid fines in an investigation headed by the U.S. Department of Justice makes Nokia confident of a victory, the company said.

The European Union is also looking into display price-fixing. On Nov. 26, the European Commission accused CRT manufacturers, including Philips, of running cartels in the markets for computer monitors and TVs.

Nokia uses LCD technology in its mobile phones and used to make CRT displays. Since the company sells about 35 million phones per month, small changes in what Nokia pays for displays could have a huge effects on its costs.

This is the second high-profile suit the Finnish phone manufacturer has filed in recent months. In October, the company said it was suing Apple for violating 10 Nokia patents on the iPhone.

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