AT & T sues screen makers, alleging price fixing
NEW YORK (AP) – AT&T Inc. has sued the major makers of LCD screens used in cell phones, saying they colluded to raise the prices the carrier paid for 300 million phones.
AT&T filed the suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. It didn't specify what damages it is seeking.
Hitachi Displays Ltd., LG Display Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp., Epson Imaging Devices Corp. and Tatung Co., all of whom were named in the suit, have already pleaded guilty to U.S. charges of price fixing, settling them for more than $600 million in fines.
AT&T's suit also names Samsung Electronics Co., Toshiba Corp., AU Optronics Corp., Chi Mei Corp. and HannStar Display Corp., saying they fixed prices between 1996 and 2006.
Samsung said it did not comment on pending or current lawsuits. Other companies did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
AT&T said it was hurt by the price fixing because it was unable to pass along the price increases to consumers. Like other major carriers, AT&T subsidizes the purchase price of cell phones and makes the money back on service fees.