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Sharp Settles with Dell and Others in Price-fixing Suit

By - Source: PCMagazine | B 17 comments

Dell has received $198.5 million from Sharp as a settlement in a price-fixing lawsuit.

Dell had sued Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba, HannStar, and Seiko in March of 2010 and accused the companies of collusion that kept prices of TFT LCD products high. Today Sharp announced a settlement with Dell and two other unnamed companies amounting to nearly $200 million, however, there was no further information on the settlement agreement.

"After carefully taking into consideration the applicable US laws, the facts of the case, and other factors, Sharp has decided that the best possible course of action is to resolve these lawsuits by settlement," the firm said in a statement.

Price-fixing claims, settlements and convictions are rather common in the display industry. Hitachi Displays, LG, Sharp, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes paid $585 million in 2010 to cover damages in a price fixing case that affected, among others, Dell, Apple, and Motorola. Last December, Sharp, Samsung, and Hitachi had to shell out $553 million in a New-York based price-fixing case. And, just last week, Toshiba was ordered to pay $87 million following a ruling that it fixed display prices for TVs.

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  • 14 Hide
    lexx691 , July 12, 2012 6:11 AM
    Funny how the system works...

    Producers engage in (illegal) price fixing.
    This keeps prices high, yet the Distributors (Dell) still receiver their proper margin, the buyer (you and me) are the ones who pay the high prices.
    Some time later the whole thing becomes public, and Dell receives money.

    Legally the whole affair is settled.

    Technically, you and me paid 200m$ to Dell.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    AznCracker , July 12, 2012 4:56 AM
    Wait did we get a share of this?
  • -1 Hide
    Chipi , July 12, 2012 5:09 AM
    Yeah, check under the carpet...
  • 6 Hide
    lunyone , July 12, 2012 5:12 AM
    I think they should force them to sell at cost for the next year and that might minimize this kind of behavior (but I'm not betting on it).
  • 9 Hide
    molo9000 , July 12, 2012 5:23 AM
    Quote:
    "After carefully taking into consideration the applicable US laws, the facts of the case, and other factors, Sharp has decided that the best possible course of action is to resolve these lawsuits by settlement,"

    That's a lot of words for "yes, we did it"
  • 14 Hide
    lexx691 , July 12, 2012 6:11 AM
    Funny how the system works...

    Producers engage in (illegal) price fixing.
    This keeps prices high, yet the Distributors (Dell) still receiver their proper margin, the buyer (you and me) are the ones who pay the high prices.
    Some time later the whole thing becomes public, and Dell receives money.

    Legally the whole affair is settled.

    Technically, you and me paid 200m$ to Dell.
  • -2 Hide
    kartu , July 12, 2012 6:46 AM
    I wonder how such offend could be settled by paying a private company.
    In my books fine should be payed to the governments.

    PS
    I guess it happens all the time in many industries. Just look at motherboard prices now and back in 2005.
  • 4 Hide
    Kami3k , July 12, 2012 7:25 AM
    kartuI wonder how such offend could be settled by paying a private company.In my books fine should be payed to the governments.


    They generally are, Intel being a big example.
  • 1 Hide
    baddad , July 12, 2012 12:03 PM
    They should be excluded from the US market for a year so they know not to do in the future.
  • 1 Hide
    rantoc , July 12, 2012 12:13 PM
    When this kind of *** happens, what about the consumers that paid more? I think company that rig prices should be forced to pay fine's as well as having their entire price portfolio forced to a certain price - say cost +10% for at least a year for instance - If they die so be it, they after all broke the law and screwed everyone over and then had to serve the ones they screwed!
  • -1 Hide
    Razec69 , July 12, 2012 12:21 PM
    demarestYour epidermis is showing. If the cost of fighting is greater than the cost of settling, you settle. Guilt or lack thereof doesn't even enter into it, nor can it be extracted from the act of settling alone. Your presumption is that everybody that makes an accusation is by default correct.


    No you moron, but for the simple fact that this isn't the first time, it obvious that they are paying because they know they are guilty. YET AGAIN. Now tuck your tail between your legs, and go to your little pompous corner.
  • -1 Hide
    teh_chem , July 12, 2012 12:49 PM
    Glad that I've never purchased a Dell, or a monitor for any of those companies. Or any monitor whatsoever in the past 4 years. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    master9716 , July 12, 2012 1:26 PM
    why should dell make 200 million off this? we should class action lawsuit against Dell for the 200million. We were the ones paying higher cost not them . Because of this Sharp wont be able to sell their 70-90 " Led Tvs for low price bc they have to make profits back , Dell Fkd us again.
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , July 12, 2012 2:02 PM
    Let me see if I get this right... ontop of the profits Dell made on the artificially overpriced displays they -and their lawyers of course- now get a $200 million bonus ?

  • 0 Hide
    rooket , July 12, 2012 5:35 PM
    It doesn't upset me that Dell isn't going to give the consumers back anyportion of this nor that the lawyers are way over paid. I'm not going to buy a Dell ever again anyways. I bought a laptop from them that somehow missed the 8600M GT flaw and the system black screens sometimes. Basically the video card is defective and dying. I have lightly used the system so it still has a lot of life left in it.

    Thanks Dell. I will buy another brand. That laptop was overpriced for what video and ports it had in it.
  • 0 Hide
    godfather666 , July 12, 2012 5:42 PM
    Dell competes with all the other manufacturers on price. So if it gets screwed by its suppliers, it will be rendered less competitive, and will end up losing money (because consumers will shift to other brands).

    So I can see why Dell would be compensated. That said, of course I agree the consumers ARE screwed as well and yet they don't get any compensation.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2012 5:47 PM
    The larger any give group of humans, the more that group will tend towards sociopath behavior. They will ALWAYS defer to profit and the interest of the company- not what's better for humanity as a whole.

    *sigh*
    I hate reading things like this. It only reminds me how fucked up things work in the higher echelons of society.
  • 0 Hide
    threefish , July 12, 2012 8:08 PM
    demarestYour epidermis is showing. If the cost of fighting is greater than the cost of settling, you settle. Guilt or lack thereof doesn't even enter into it, nor can it be extracted from the act of settling alone. Your presumption is that everybody that makes an accusation is by default correct.

    This is a simplistic view of the settlement process. The legal costs in fighting are certainly not in the range of $200m. A big part of the calculus that you do not factor in is what the likelihood of losing in court is, as well as what the likely damages would be in the case of a loss. With a $200m settlement, they ARE admitting that they have a weak case, and they have determined that settling is less risky than fighting.

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but your condescending reply deserved a little scrutiny.