CRESSKILL, N.J., Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Special Master has recommended attorney fees in the largest settlement—$1 billion—ever awarded in a class action suit over price-fixing. In Re: TFT-LCD Antitrust Litigation (07-01827, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California) alleged that from 1996-2006, Asian TFT-LCD panel manufacturers conspired to violate U.S. anti-trust laws, driving up prices and reducing the availability of the products used in televisions, computers, and other digital devices. In that period, the conspirators sold $71.9 billion in price-fixed panels worldwide—at least $23.5 billion in the U.S. where companies that used the panels in their products, distributors, and consumers overpaid by billions of dollars. After more than five years of litigation, attorneys have yet to receive any compensation. Even with the recommendation of attorney fees, it will be months—if not years—before settlements are released, so RD Legal Funding is making settlement financing immediately available to the TFT-LCD Antitrust attorneys.
TFT-LCD is a thin film transistor liquid crystal display in which each pixel has its own transistor on the glass itself, improving the LCD's image quality.
- 2001: Days after 9/11, conspirators representing major Asian electronics manufacturers meet in Taiwan and agree to fix LCD prices in the U.S. and elsewhere. At monthly "Crystal Meetings" they exchange production, shipping, supply and demand information, and fix prices.
- Mid-2005: Aware that customers suspect price-fixing, lower-level employees replace top-level employees at the meetings which are moved from hotel rooms to public restaurants.
- 2006: Learning about a U.S. price-fixing investigation into the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) industry, conspirators switch to meeting one-on-one.
- Mid-2006: The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)'s Antitrust Division requests FBI assistance in investigating LCD price-fixing.
- December 2006: U.S., Japan, Korea, and the European Union announce an investigation into anti-competitive activity among LCD panel manufacturers.
- 2006: DOJ accepts Samsung into its leniency program in exchange for concrete evidence of LCD price-fixing.
- November 2008: LG Display Co. Ltd. and LG Display America, Inc.; Chunghwa Picture Tubes; Hitachi Displays; Epson Imaging Devices Corporation; and Chi Mei Optoelectronics plead guilty to criminal charges of fixing prices of TFT-LCD panels sold in the U.S., agreeing to pay $58 million in criminal fines.
- 2009: The request is made to certify cases against TFT-LCD manufacturers, brought on behalf of individuals and businesses that purchased TFT-LCDs directly and indirectly, as a class action suit.
- June 2010: A federal grand jury returns an indictment against AU Optronics (AUO), its Houston-based U.S. subsidiary, and five current and former executives for violating the Sherman Act, levying a $500 million criminal fine. Former AUO President Hsuan Bin Chen and Executive Vice President Hui Hsiung are sentenced to three years in prison and a $200,000 criminal fine. AUO is ordered to implement an internal compliance program, hire an independent compliance monitor, and take out ads in U.S. and Taiwanese newspapers publicizing the criminal sanctions taken against it.
- July 3, 2012: A California jury returns a verdict against Toshiba. AUO, LG Display Co., and Toshiba Corp. agree to pay $571 million to resolve price-fixing allegations including $27.5 million in civil penalties to eight states. Toshiba denies any wrongdoing. Money from the settlement will be available to consumers in 24 states.
For more information about post-settlement financing, TFT-LCD Antitrust Litigation attorneys should contact RD Legal Funding at 1-800-565-5177 or go to legalfunding.com. Founded in 1997, RD Legal Funding is now one of the nation's leading providers of post-settlement attorney financing.
SOURCE RD Legal Funding, LLC