Monday, August 20, 2012

WV Attorney General announces LCD screen price-fixing settlement

If you purchased a device with an LCD screen (a TV, computer monitor, laptop computer) between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2006, you might be entitled to some refund from a settlement.

McGraw and several state attorneys general settled price-fixing lawsuits against ten LCD panel manufacturers, including Hitachi, LG Display, Samsung Electronics Co., and Sharp Corporation, for fixing the prices of LCD panels. As part of those settlements, the companies paid more than $1 billion in civil penalties and restitution to purchasers. West Virginians have until December 6, 2012 to file claims for the LCD screens they purchased between 1999 and 2006. Claims can be filed at through an online claim form. Consumers can also request a claim form be mailed to them by calling 1-855-225-1886 or 1-800-368-8808.

In order to be eligible, consumers (1) need to have resided in West Virginia when they purchased the LCD product; (2) made their purchases in West Virginia between 1999 and 2006; and (3) made their purchases for personal use rather than for resale.

Purchases may have been made from a retailer, like Best Buy or Wal-Mart, or from a computer manufacturer, such as Dell or Gateway. Consumers will not be asked to submit their records or other paperwork in making their claims, but should hold on to those in case they are asked to provide them in the future.

McGraw said his office, along with seven other state attorneys general and the federal government, had been investigating the industry for several years. He said the investigation uncovered evidence of a high-level conspiracy involving secret meetings in which the companies’ executives agreed to raise prices for their LCD screens. The settlements were joined by the states of Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York and Wisconsin, along with a national class action.


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