The Attorney General’s Office has reached a settlement with five companies it says were collaborating to hike prices on some popular electronic products.
Chris Koster’s office worked with counterparts in seven states and the U.S. Justice Department to file a suit in August 2010 against seven companies. He says two years of investigation went into that suit that lead to the settlement that so far totals over $500 million dollars.
The settlement has been filed in federal court in San Francisco and must be approved by the court. Litigation continues with two companies, Display Co., Ltd., AU Optronics Corporation.
The companies who have agreed to settle the suit are Chimei Innolux Corp., Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc., Chi Mei Optoelectronics Japan Co., Ltd, HannStar Display Corporation, Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Displays, Ltd., Hitachi Electronic Devices, USA, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., Sharp Corporation, and Sharp Electronics Corporation.
Products that use LCD screens include computer monitors, notebook computers and televisions.
Consumers from Missouri and the seven other states that filed suit who bought products from those companies between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2006 can file a claim to the settlement money. Those who would like to be notified when that process begins are urged to e-mail the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, or write to it at P.O. Box 899, Jefferson City, Missouri, 65102 to provide an address. More information on how to file a claim will be available at the Attorney General’s website.
Koster says, “Now I recognize that a lot of people have lost their reciepts or never kept those reciepts, and we’re trying to work out a system with the court that recognizes that serial numbers and model numbers are going to have to suffice.”
No distribution will occur until the court approves the settlement and litigation is completed against the remaining two companies.