AU Optronics executive sentenced for LCD price-fixing

The former manager of the company's desktop display unit is sentenced to two years in prison

A former executive with AU Optronics was sentenced Monday to serve two years in prison and pay a US$50,000 fine for participating in a worldwide LCD screen price-fixing conspiracy, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Shiu Lung Leung, former senior manager of AU Optronics' desktop display business group, was sentenced for price fixing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

AU Optronics, based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and its U.S. subsidiary, AU Optronics America, headquartered in Milpitas, California, were found guilty in March 2012, for participating in the thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) price-fixing conspiracy, after an eight-week trial. Also found guilty were former AU Optronics President Hsuan Bin Chen and former AU Optronics Executive Vice President Hui Hsiung.

A trial for Leung then ended in a mistrial. Monday's sentencing followed a three-week retrial that started in November and resulted in Leung's conviction. Leung's lawyer wasn't immediately available for comment on the sentencing.

The original indictment charged that AU Optronics participated in the worldwide price-fixing conspiracy from September 2001 to December 2006, with the U.S. subsidiary joining the conspiracy as early as spring 2003. The indictment charged that Leung participated in that conspiracy starting in May 2002.

LCD panels affected by the conspiracy were a major component in flat-panel computer monitors, notebook computers, and flat-screen televisions sold in the U.S., the DOJ said. The conspirators fixed the prices of LCD panels during monthly meetings with their competitors, secretly held in hotel conference rooms, karaoke bars and tea rooms around Taiwan.  

"These international price-fixers caused consumers to pay inflated prices for their computer monitors, notebook computers and televisions," Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer, in charge of the DOJ's Antitrust Division, said in a statement. "Prison sentences for culpable executives, combined with substantial fines against corporate wrongdoers, are the most effective deterrents for protecting consumers from this kind of illegal cartel behavior."

Eight companies have been convicted of charges arising out of the DOJ's ongoing investigation into LCD price fixing. They have been sentenced to pay criminal fines of US $1.39 billion. The DOJ has brought charges against 22 executives, and 13 of them have been convicted and sentenced to serve prison terms ranging from six to 36 months.

 

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CriminalU.S. Department of Justiceantitrustconsumer electronicsBill BaerlegalAU OptronicsShiu Lung Leung

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?