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Toshiba fined $87m for LCD price fixing in the US

LCD TV
Image caption Various LCD makers have been charged in the US for fixing prices of the panels

Japanese electronics maker Toshiba has been fined $87m (£55m) for conspiring to fix prices of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in the US.

It has been accused of holding meetings with other LCD makers in a bid to keep prices of the panels at a high level.

The fine comes just months after Taiwanese firm AU Optronics was found guilty on similar charges.

Toshiba has denied the charges and said it will take necessary legal action to overturn the verdict.

"While Toshiba appreciates the jury's time and effort, Toshiba believes that the jury's verdict is in error as to the finding of wrongdoing," the firm said.

'Very pleased'

LCD panels are used in a variety of products, ranging from flat screen TVs to personal computers and laptops.

However, some of the world's leading manufacturers of these panels, including Samsung and LG Electronics, were accused of colluding to keep their prices high in a bid to boost profits.

Lawmakers argued that such action by the manufacturers had hurt their customers.

Last year, seven LCD makers, including South Korea's Samsung, paid more than $500m for partial refunds to retail consumers who bought goods containing the LCD panels made by them in a bid to settle price-fixing claims.

The LCD makers had also agreed a $388m deal with commercial firms who bought the panels directly from them.

Toshiba was the only firm that decided to contest the claims.

"We are very pleased the jury found in favour of the plaintiffs and found that Toshiba violated the law, particularly in light of the government's decision not to criminally prosecute Toshiba for its misconduct," said Richard Heimann, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

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