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Multimillion dollar settlements reached in LCD price-fixing class action suit

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TORONTO - A group of major electronics companies and their affiliates accused of fixing the price for liquid crystal display panels used in TVs, computers monitors and laptops have agreed to pay a total of more than $37 million to settle a class action lawsuit.

Law firms Siskinds LLP and Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman said the five have not admitted to any wrong doing or liability, but agreed to the settlement which has been approved by courts in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

The case dates to 2007 and alleges the defendants conspired to fix prices, market share and production capacity for LCD panels and LCD products.

Siskinds LLP, which launched the suit, said Wednesday that consumers who bought LCD panels or products, regardless of the manufacturer or brand, between 1998 to 2006 are eligible for a share of the settlement. It's expected that those making valid claims will receive a minimum payment of $25.

Under the agreements, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. have agreed to pay $21.25 million, while Innolux Corp. (successor to Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp.) has agreed to pay $10 million.

Also included in the settlement is Japan Display Inc. (successor to Hitachi Displays, Ltd.) on its behalf and on behalf of Hitachi Ltd., Hitachi Canada, Ltd., Hitachi America Ltd., Hitachi Electronics Devices (USA) Inc. for $3.15 million; Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd. for $2.02 million; and Epson Imaging Devices Corp. (formerly known as Sanyo Epson Imaging Devices Corp.) for $1.2 million.

The case is continuing against five other groups of defendants including LG Philips LCD Co., Sharp Corporation, and Toshiba Corp.