Dell sues five LCD-makers for price fixing

By on March 15, 2010, 1:20 PM
Dell is the latest tech company to sue a string of LCD-makers for price fixing. The company filed suit at a US district court in San Francisco on Friday against Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba, Seiko Epson, and HannStar. The five firms allegedly violated antitrust laws by conspiring as a cartel to artificially inflate LCD prices. Dell hasn't stated the amount damages it is looking to recover, but it says the price fixing goes all the way back to 1996.

A number of other display manufacturers have been sued in recent years under similar allegations. In December, Nokia filed suit against Samsung, LG, Philips, Toshiba, Sharp, Hitachi, and Chunghwa. A little over a month prior to that, AT&T sought damages on 300 million cell phones due to exaggerated LCD prices from a similar band of companies.

Sharp and Hitachi declined to comment on Dell's suit, while Toshiba and Seiko Epson said they were still making checks on the issue, and HannStart has not responded.




User Comments: 19

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Renegeek said:

I think price fixing happens on eveything, and everywhere, thats just way it goes, and i wish it would stop. but everyone just wants a bit of the green...

rajmond said:

Everybody is suing everyone!

WWS...World war of suing

natefalk natefalk said:

It's all about maximizing profits and nothing else matters....

Like renegeek says, this probably happens all the time we just don't know about it.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

IMO, a rather glaring instance of price fixing is related to PC RAM. The bottom fell out of the DDR2 market, a year or so ago, then Toshiba (I think) bought up a bunch of factories, and now it's four times the price. I even posted to a thread on this topic (memory) something about price fixing.how much we'd soon be paying for it!

While I can't quote specifics, this should be painfully obvious. It got to the point that nobody was making money on RAM, then all of a sudden, everybody's making it hand over fist.

Oddly, Toshiba's name always comes up when the s*** hits the fan.

nazartp said:

Price fixing, as in violation of an antitrust law, does not necessarily happen every time we see a price increase. If defendants could show that they behaved independently in their best interest, then there is no price fixing.

That is not to say that price fixing doesn't happen. One of more recent proven cases was when several major telecom providers participating in the FCC auction for cell phone frequencies used last three digits of their bids to signal each other on which markets to bid or not to bid.

Kovach said:

What they think? Everyone want to earn a penny more and shrink down the competition.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I have to agree with captaincranky, Toshiba name shows up a lot in a bad light. Gotta wonder about them sometimes.

Personally not very found of Toshiba. Had a tv or 2 of theirs die, and seen several bad laptops made by them that friends have owned (luckily not me :P )

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Price fixing, as in violation of an antitrust law, does not necessarily happen every time we see a price increase. If defendants could show that they behaved independently in their best interest, then there is no price fixing.

That is not to say that price fixing doesn't happen. One of more recent proven cases was when several major telecom providers participating in the FCC auction for cell phone frequencies used last three digits of their bids to signal each other on which markets to bid or not to bid.

In my memory example, I implied a different methodology of price control than you. This doesn't mean that I think yours is better, worse, or more or less valid, but it also doesn't mean that price fixing via controlling the supply is any less effective, or not practiced either.

tengeta tengeta said:

Wasn't Dell one of the ones originally sued for this exact thing?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Wasn't Dell one of the ones originally sued for this exact thing?
I have always been made to believe that, "s*** rolls downhill". Who knew that one day, it would go round and round in circles.

tripplejjj said:

What ever is the outcome, I don't want to end up paying more for the products.

tonylukac said:

Great to see prices go down. However, it brings back slave labor. All men are created equal.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Great to see prices go down. However, it brings back slave labor.
Um brings ..back....?
All men are created equal.
Sadly, all men are born into circumstance, and that trumps equality.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Well there will be a lot of happy lawyers.

rskapadia2294 said:

lol! price fixing happens everywhere! but it would surely profit the lawyers! as said by tekkaraiden!

but its great to see things becoming cheaper!

Thompson said:

I agree with rajmond, there is an awful lot of suing going on, jeez.

It's doesn't surprise me that price fixing it going on but from Toshiba and Hitachi, that's unexpected.

Yoda8232 said:

Honestly Dell should be sewing itself for price-fixing, look at the latest Dell 24" Green monitor article.

Jay Pfoutz Jay Pfoutz, Malware Helper, said:

Dell is looking for a way to be the top of the line competitor, but they are also afraid the competition will move in and take over. But, if Dell had a deal with those sellers, and the deal was broken, then I guess Dell would be angry.

thebluemeaner said:

Dell is obviously looking for its pockets, but I guess dissolving this cartel will benefit the consumer in the long term...

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