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More former executives indicted in LCD price fixing cartel

Post Time:Feb 05,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:526

DailyTech has been following the LCD price fixing case pending against executives from three of the largest LCD suppliers in the world. A federal grand jury in San Francisco has returned an indictment against two former executives from Chunghwa Picture Tubes and one former LG Display Co. executive for their participation in the global LCD price fixing scheme.

The indictment was filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco and charges that Cheng Yuan Lin (aka C.Y. Lin), Wen Jun Cheng (aka Tony Cheng), and Duk Mo Koo along with unnamed co-conspirators conspired to reduce and eliminate competition by fixing the prices of TFT-LCD panels.

The three indicted executives each participated in the conspiracy at various times during the conspiracy period that started around September 14, 2001 and lasted until about December 1, 2006. According to the indictment, Lin was part of the conspiracy from September 14, 2001 until April 7, 2003 as Chunghwa's Chairman and CEO. Lin is a resident of Taiwan.

Cheng participated in the conspiracy from October 5, 1002 until September 24, 2004 where for most of that time he was the Assistant VP of Sales and Marketing for Chunghwa. Cheng is also a citizen of Taiwan. Koo was part of the conspiracy from December 11, 2001 until December 5, 2005 and was the Executive VP and Chief Sales Officer for LG. Kong is a citizen of the Republic of Korea.

Scott D. Hammond, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division said in a statement, "The Antitrust Division will vigorously pursue individuals who engage in antitrust crimes targeting U.S. businesses and consumers no matter where those individuals live or commit the crime. Today’s charges should make clear that there are no safe havens for international cartels that violate the U.S. antitrust laws."

Lin, Cheng and Koo are each charged with violations of the Sherman Act, which before June 22, 2004 carried a maximum penalty of three years in prison and $350,000 in fines for each individual. Violations of the Sherman Act after June 22, 2004 carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

These executives aren’t the first to be indicted in relation to the price fixing cartel. In January, former Chunghwa CEO Chieng-Hon Lin and two other Chunghwa executives were charged and pled guilty. The plea agreements approved by the court have Chieng-Hon Lin serving nine months in prison and paying $50,000 in fines, Chin-Chun Liu spending seven months and paying a $30,000 fine, and Hsueh-Lung Lee serving six months in prison and paying a fine of $20,000. An LG executive named Chang Suk Chung has also pled guilty for his participation and will spend seven months in prison and pay a $25,000 fine.

Source: DailyTechAuthor: shangyi

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