LCD price-fixing settlement sets up $500-million consumer fund

If you lived in California between 1999 and 2006 and purchased an electronic device with an LCD panel -- such as a computer monitor, laptop or all-in-one PC -- you may be eligible as a claimant on a $500-million price-fixing settlement between hardware makers and California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris' office.

The California Department of Justice on Friday said that consumers should check, call (855) 115-1886 or write to LCD Class, P.O.Box 8025, Faribault, MN 55021, to obtain a copy of the settlement and register to receive a claim form.

"In October 2010, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris filed a lawsuit against 10 companies for engaging in price fixing of LCD panels from 1999 to 2006 that resulted in higher prices for California residents and businesses, as well as government agencies," the state Justice Department said in a statement.

Harris' office reached settlements with seven of the 10 companies sued by the state and seven other attorneys general -- from Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, West Virginia and Wisconsin -- in a national class-action suit, the department said.

"As part of the settlements, the companies that engaged in price fixing will provide a fund for consumers and businesses in 25 states, including California."

Among the hardware makers that settled are lesser-known names such as Chimei Optoelectronics, as well as bigger names such as Hitachi, Samsung and Sharp, the department said.


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