Price fixing has been going on for years in a number of markets and it looks like three big electronics companies in Asia have been recently caught with dirt on their hands. LG, Sharp and Chunghwa Picture Tubes have all just pled guilty to fixing the prices on LCD screens used not only in their products but also in Apple iPods and Motorola Razr phones – among other products.
LG’s taking the biggest hit at $400 million for conspiring to fix prices from September 2001 to June 2006, while Sharp will pay a fine of $120 million and Chunghwa $65 million. Apparently this plea deal was the "best possible course of action" for all three companies in order to cut further losses from a legal process and other fines.
Sharp said its chairman, chief executive and some company directors will voluntarily return 10 percent to 30 percent of their compensation for three months, starting in December, to reassure its shareholders and perhaps show some corporate responsibility – sadly that does nothing for the millions of customers who bought overpriced computers, cell phones and numerous other electronic devices.