On November 1, a number of large U.S. retailers, including Target, Sears, Kmart, RadioShack, Newegg, and the former CompUSA, filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court in the Northern District of California, alleging that they were injured as a result of a global price-fixing conspiracy by the major manufacturers of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) panels. The complaint was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by Crowell & Moring. The complaint asserts that, from January 1996 to December 2006, the LCD panel makers conspired to raise panel prices which, in turn, increased the prices U.S. retailers paid for finished goods containing such panels.
The defendants named in the action include Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Epson, LG Display, AU Optronics, Chunghwa, Chi Mei, and HannStar. The lawsuit follows a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the LCD panel industry, which has resulted in seven corporations and a number of high-level executives pleading guilty to price-fixing.