Bloomberg News

Samsung, LCD Makers Face Record Antitrust Penalty in South Korea

November 01, 2011

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co., LG Display Co. and eight other liquid-crystal display makers in Taiwan and Japan face South Korea’s largest international antitrust penalty following a probe into allegations of price-fixing.

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission fined the companies a combined 194 billion won ($175 million), including 97.3 billion won for Samsung and its two overseas units, and 65.5 billion won for LG Display and its two units, according to a statement today from the regulator. The total is the biggest imposed by the commission, exceeding the 124.3 billion won 19 airlines paid in 2010, according to the statement.

The Korean probe, which started in 2006, followed similar investigations in the U.S. and Europe into pricing and supplies of display makers between 2001 and 2006.

Samsung will respect the ruling, James Chung, a Seoul-based spokesman, said by phone today. LG Display will appeal the ruling in court, company spokesman Son Young Jun said.

AU Optronics Corp., Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. and two others face fines ranging from 28.5 billion won to 290 million won. Yawen Hsiao, a spokeswoman for AU Optronics, and Eddie Chen, a spokesman for Chi Mei, declined to comment until they’ve read the commission’s ruling.

--Editors: Sam Nagarajan, Jim McDonald

To contact the reporter on this story: Sangim Han in Seoul

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe in Sydney

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