By Gautham Nagesh - 08/06/10 06:56 PM EDT
Of the firms named in the suit Hitachi, LG, Toshiba, Sharp, AU Optronics and Chi Mei did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Samsung official said it was company policy not to comment on pending litigation. Attempts to reach CMO Japan were unsuccessful.
The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in New York County, alleges the Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese firms and their U.S. counterparts engineered a cartel that dominated the $70 billion market for liquid crystal displays from 1996 to 2006. The suit seeks restitution, damages and civil penalties from the firms for conspiring to inflate prices and overcharge public institutions purchasing televisions and computers.
The suit also claims the companies coordinated messaging to customers and manipulated media reports to make it appear as if the agreed upon price hikes were due to supply and demand.
The case is being handled by assistant attorneys General John Ioannou and Geralyn J. Trujillo and Acting Chief of the Antitrust Bureau Richard L. Schwartz, under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Michael Berlin and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Maria Vullo.