The European Commission has issued a fine to six LCD makers found to have participated in price fixing, just in time for Christmas. The fine amount is €648.925 million ($857.49 million), according to Tech Eye.

AU Optronics, Samsung, LG, Chimei InnoLux, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, and HannStar Display held so-called "Crystal meetings" between 2001 and 2006. Their goal was to agree on product price ranges and minimum prices of LCDs, with the obvious intent of boosting their own profits. They did so even though they knew it was illegal, and of course tried to cover it all up.

Out of the six companies, Samsung was the only one granted immunity, since it was the one that reported the cartel in the first place. For the others, the fine is broken down as such: €215 million ($284.10 million) for LG, €116.8 million ($154.34 million) for AU Optronics, €300 million ($396.42 million) for Chimei InnoLux, €9.025 million ($11.93 million) for Chunghwa Picture Tubes, and €8.1 million ($10.70 million) for HannStar Display.

"Foreign companies, like European ones, need to understand that if they want to do business in Europe they must play fair," Joaquín Almunia, Vice President of Competition Policy in the EC, said in a statement. "The companies concerned knew they were breaking competition rules and took steps to conceal their illegal behaviour. The only understanding we will show is for those that come forward to denounce a cartel and help prove its existence."