AU Optronics fined $500 million for LCD price-fixing
The sentence on AU Optronics and two employees was lower than the government had asked
IDG News Service - AU Optronics was fined $500 million by a court in San Francisco on Thursday, and two of its former executives were fine and sentenced to three-year prison terms in connection with an LCD price-fixing conspiracy, the Department of Justice said.
The sentence by a judge of the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco division was lower than what DOJ wanted.
In a filing to the court on Wednesday, DOJ reiterated that a $1 billion fine against the Taiwanese LCD maker and the 10-year terms of imprisonment and $1 million fines against its top executives recommended by the government are "necessary, appropriate, and equitable sentences in this case." They are also the maximum sentences for the offense.
The defendants are remorseless having refused to accept responsibility or to provide any assistance that would justify a reduction in their sentences, DOJ said in the filing.
The indictment charged that AU Optronics participated in a worldwide price-fixing conspiracy from Sept. 14, 2001, to Dec. 1, 2006, and that its U.S subsidiary joined the conspiracy as early as 2003. The U.S. subsidiary was also sentenced on Thursday.
The companies and former executives were found guilty in March following an eight-week trial. A jury found that the convicted companies and former executives fixed the prices of thin-film transistor LCD panels sold into the U.S. The prices were fixed during monthly meetings with their competitors secretly held in hotel conference rooms, karaoke bars and tea rooms around Taiwan, DOJ said. The LCDs are used in computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices.
AU Optronics sold more than $2.3 billion worth of LCD panels in the U.S. during the price-fixing conspiracy, the DOJ said in a filing earlier this month. The conspiring companies sold $71.9 billion in price-fixed panels worldwide, with about $23.5 billion LCD panels sold in the U.S. The conspiracy particularly targeted the U.S. and its hi-tech companies like Apple, HP, and Dell, DOJ said.
Former AU Optronics president Hsuan Bin Chen was sentenced to serve three years in prison and to pay a $200,000 fine. Another former AU Optronics executive vice president Hui Hsiung was also sentenced to serve three years in prison and to pay a $200,000 fine, according to DOJ. The judge's order was not immediately available on the court website.
AU Optronics and its U.S. subsidiary were also placed on probation forA three years, and are required to adopt an antitrust compliance program and to appoint an independent corporate compliance monitor, DOJ said.
Eight companies, including AU Optronics, have been so far convicted of charges arising out of the department's ongoing investigation, and have been sentenced to pay fines totaling $1.39 billion.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- 4 Customers who never have to refresh their PCs again This paper illustrates a common theme: the combination of desktop virtualization and thin client computing helps organizations deliver an up-to-date user experience more...
- Mobile Devices: The New Thin Clients Get essential guidance for understanding the role thin clients plus virtual desktops play in the enterprise today.
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- PaaS - Powering a New Era of Business IT Why PaaS has suddenly become relevant and irresistible to many organizations. Dive into the opportunities and considerations associated with using PaaS from an...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts