AU Optronics, the Taiwanese LCD panel manufacturer, has been found guilty of price fixing in the US.
The company, a subsidiary in Texas, and two former top brass executives were found guilty of taking part in unfairly rigging prices between 1999 and 2006.
AU Optronics allegedly gouged money to the tune of $500 million from companies such as HP and Dell in that period of time, but the fine which is being imposed will take that back, and more.
Prices were apparently fixed in clandestine meetings, such as in tea rooms and karaoke bars.
According to AFP, the corporation could be looking down the barrel of a $1 billion fine, and the executives a $1 million fine along with up to 10 years in the clink. Still, all those renditions of Jailhouse Rock in the aforementioned karaoke bars should come in handy.
Needless to say, the company is planning an appeal, with the Chairman of AU Optronics, Lee Kuen-yao, being quoted as stating that by various media sources.
Sharis Pozen, Department of Justice antitrust division head, told AFP News: “The jury’s decision to hold not only the companies but also their top executives accountable for their anticompetitive actions should send a strong deterrent message to board rooms around the world.”
A number of other panel manufacturers have already paid the price some time ago in this particular investigation, including LG and Samsung.
Source: Yahoo News