Companies in cathode ray tube price fixing lawsuit reach $528 million deal

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 01, 2015 4:46 PM

By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Five companies including Samsung SDI Co Ltd and Koninklijke Philips agreed to pay a total of $528 million to resolve a class action lawsuit alleging price fixing in the market for cathode ray tubes, according to a court filing.

Consumers who bought televisions and computer monitors sued various companies in late 2007 and early 2008, alleging an international conspiracy to fix CRT prices. The case had been set to go to trial this year.

Samsung agreed to pay $225 million as part of the settlement, with Philips paying $175 million, according to a court filing made public on Friday. Samsung representatives could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.

In a statement, Philips said the settlement "brings to an end a long ongoing case that we've previously disclosed."

Panasonic Corp, Hitachi Ltd and Toshiba Corp also agreed to settle the class action lawsuit.

The U.S. Department of Justice and other antitrust regulators had investigated CRT price fixing, to which Samsung agreed to plead guilty in 2011.

U.S. authorities had alleged Samsung SDI executives and other co-conspirators held meetings in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, China and elsewhere to set targets for the prices of the tubes, and to allocate market share, even if it meant shutting down production lines.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is In Re: Cathode Ray Tube Antitrust Litigation, 07-cv-5944.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Chris Reese)