Dell Sues Asian Display Makers


Dell named Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba, Seiko Epson and HannStar Display in a lawsuit filed in San Francisco on 12 March, alleging that the manufacturers were fixing display prices at Dell’s expense

Computer maker Dell is suing five Asian manufacturers for allegedly plotting to set prices and overcharge Dell for the display panels they create.

Japan-based Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba and Seiko Epson, and Taiwan-based HannStar Display were named in the suit that Dell filed in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco on 12 March, according to reports from Reuters and the Dow Jones Newswire.

In the 61-page complaint, Dell stated that it was taking the action “on behalf of itself and its affiliates to recover for antitrust and other harms arising from billions of dollars of purchases at artificially inflated prices, over several years, of thin film transistor-liquid crystal display panels, or products containing TFT-LCD panels,” the Dow Jones Newswire reported.

Sharp, Hitachi and Seiko Epson were also among the companies that Nokia filed suits against in the United States and the United Kingdom on 1 Dec. 2009, similarly alleging that the manufacturers were involved in price fixing of CRT and LCD displays. 
“Had we not been overcharged for them, our profitability would have been higher,” a Nokia spokesperson told AP at the time.

On 9 Dec, 2009, Taiwan-based TFT-LCD maker ChiMei Optoelectronics pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to price fix. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, companies affected by ChiMei’s behavior, from 14 Sept 2001, to 1 Dec. 2006, included Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

According to the Dow Jones Newswire, several companies named in the Dell suit, including Sharp, have also pleaded guilty to past price-fixing charges.

Dell has yet to announce the dollar amount that it will seek in damages.

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