AU Optronics Corp., based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and its American subsidiary, AU Optronics Corp. America, headquartered in Houston, were found guilty on March 13, 2012, following an eight-week trial. Former AU Optronics Corp. president Hsuan Bin Chen and former AU Optronics Corp. executive vice president Hui Hsiung were also found guilty at that time. A mistrial was declared against Leung after that trial. Today's verdict is the result of Leung's retrial.
"This international price-fixing conspiracy impacted countless American consumers by raising the price of computer monitors, notebooks and televisions containing LCD panels," said Scott D. Hammond, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division's criminal enforcement program. "Today's guilty verdict demonstrates that the Antitrust Division will continue to hold executives accountable for crimes that undermine a competitive marketplace."
The indictment charged that AU Optronics Corp. participated in the worldwide price-fixing conspiracy from Sept. 14, 2001, to Dec. 1, 2006, and that its subsidiary joined the conspiracy as early as spring 2003. Today a jury found that Leung, along with the previously convicted companies and former executives, was guilty of fixing the prices of LCD panels sold in the United States. The conspirators fixed the prices of LCD panels during monthly meetings with their competitors, which were secretly held in hotel conference rooms, karaoke bars and tea rooms around Taiwan.
The LCD price-fixing conspiracy affected some of the largest computer manufacturers in the world, including Hewlett Packard, Dell and Apple, DoJ said.
The company and its U.S. subsidiary were sentenced on Sept. 20, 2012, before Judge Susan Illston, to pay a $500 million criminal fine, matching the largest fine imposed against a company for violating U.S. antitrust laws. Chen and Hsiung were each sentenced to serve three years in prison and to each pay a $200,000 criminal fine.