Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced on Wednesday, May 30, that Toshiba Corporation, a multinational conglomerate headquartered in Japan, will pay US$1.3 million as part of the state Attorney General’s price-fixing lawsuit against manufacturers of a component used in television and computer screens called cathode ray tube, or CRT.
The lawsuit alleges Toshiba and other CRT manufacturers, including LG, Panasonic, Hitachi, Chungwha, Philips and Samsung, engaged in a price-fixing scheme to drive up the cost of CRTs from 1995 to 2007. During those 12 years, the price-fixing conspiracy caused millions of Washington consumers to be overcharged for their CRT televisions and computer monitors.
The consent decree, which will be filed in King County Superior Court, holds Toshiba accountable for its role in the price-fixing scheme. Ferguson will distribute the bulk of the US$1.3 million through a claims process to Washington consumers and state agencies that purchased CRTs during the conspiracy.
“For more than a decade, these foreign manufacturers conspired to artificially inflate their prices,” Ferguson said. “We are returning the money back where it belongs: the pockets of Washingtonians.”
During the scheme, the companies held secret meetings in which they agreed to fix prices. They also agreed to restrict the supply of CRTs in order to artificially inflate prices.
This payment will bring the total paid so far by CRT manufacturers over their scheme to US$3.65 million. So far, four of the other conspirators have paid a total of US$2.35 million to Washington State. Trials have been scheduled for Philips and Samsung in July of 2019.
Full Content: Washington State