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Sharp To Pay $198.5M In Price Fixing Settlement

July 10, 2012 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Sharp said on Monday it has agreed to pay Dell and two other firms $198.5 million to settle a lawsuit for fixing LCD panel prices in Europe and North America.

The company agreed to settle the civil lawsuit, which was first filed in November of 2009 against a group of companies including Sharp, Epson, Hitachi and Toshiba for collusion on prices of LCD panels sold to Dell. A Sharp spokeswoman said the company made the decision independent of the other firms involved in the lawsuit, and the payment would settle the suit with Dell. Sharp did not name the two other companies besides Dell.

“After broadly considering factors such as the U.S. civil lawsuit system and the facts of this case, Sharp has determined that agreeing to a settlement is the best policy,” the company said in a statement.

Dell sought damages to recover funds it paid for LCD panels purchased at inflated prices. The lawsuit involved TFT (thin film transistor) panels, widely used in TVs, laptops and handheld gadgets.

Sharp said it is still determining the effect the settlement will have on its earnings. The company plans to book a special loss in the just-ended April-June quarter.

 

Apple Says Justice Dept. Is Wrong About E-Book Collusion Charge

April 16, 2012 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Apple Inc has rejected the U.S. Justice Department’s charges that it colluded with publishers over electronic book pricing, saying that the charges are “simply not true.”

The U.S. government had sued Apple and five publishers, saying they conspired to fix the prices of electronic books. It has reached a settlement with three of the publishers that could lead to cheaper e-books for consumers.

In an email to Reuters, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr confirmed the company’s position, which appeared earlier in a Wall Street Journal story.

“The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told the Journal.

Kerris defended the current pricing structure as parallel to Apple’s mobile software store.

“Just as we have allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore,” she told newspaper.