LCD panel cartel under the glare of the EC

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LCD panel cartel under the glare of the EC

The Euorpean Commission recently stated that it had sent Statement of Objections under EU antitrust rules to a number of companies which supply liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.

The Statements concerned the vendors' alleged participation in a cartel in violation of EC Treaty rules on restrictive business practices.

The products under investigation are the main components of thin, flat monitors used in mobile phones, televisions, computers, digital watches and pocket calculators.

The EC hasn't named the vendors however the reported LG and Phillips were two companies involved in the matter.

Philips admitted to the  "that it had been charged and it would vigorously oppose the allegations".

While LG added "that it had also received the statement of objections, which it was reviewing".

The also stated: "Samsung did not comment, while Sharp and Hitachi, also heavily involved in the LCD market, were unavailable. Other major LCD makers include Taiwan's AU Optronics (AUO), the country's largest LCD manufacturer and number three in the world, and Chi Mei Optoelectronics."

LG Australia's media representatives told CRN it was unable to comment on the situation.

Samsung and Phillips haven't responded to CRN's enquiries.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it was unable to comment on the matter.

The situation could prove disastrous for LG, if found guilty, as it recently announced it had sunk $2.6 billion to ramp up production of LCD panels.

Should the ACCC become involved in the matter? If these vendors are found guilty will this impact the Australian market?

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