Nokia sues LCD makers for price fixing

Display manufacturers have already pleaded guilty to price fixing in the U.S., making Nokia confident of victory

Nokia is suing display manufacturers Samsung, LG, Philips, Toshiba and others for price-fixing. As a result of the price fixing Nokia has paid too much for displays, and now the company wants some of its money back, it said on Tuesday.

Nokia has filed suits against the display manufacturers in the U.S. and U.K. related to LCD screens, and another suit in the U.K. related to CRT (cathode ray tube) displays.

Nokia isn't elaborating on how much money it wants, but it's after damages for products sold between Jan.1, 2006, and at least Dec. 11, 2006, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

That companies including LG, Sharp and Hitachi have already pleaded guilty to price-fixing on LCD displays and paid fines in an investigation headed by the U.S. Department of Justice makes Nokia confident of a victory, the company said.

The European Union is also looking into display price-fixing. On Nov. 26, the European Commission accused CRT manufacturers, including Philips, of running cartels in the markets for computer monitors and TVs.

Nokia uses LCD technology in its mobile phones and used to make CRT displays. Since the company sells about 35 million phones per month, small changes in what Nokia pays for displays could have large effects on its costs.

This is the second high-profile suit the Finnish phone manufacturer has filed in recent months. In October, the company said it is suing Apple for violating 10 different patents owned by Nokia on the iPhone.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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