South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung will pay 29 million U.S. dollars to consumers in the west U.S. state of Washington for “price-fixing scheme,” the state’s Office of the Attorney General (AG) has said.
In a lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court by the Washington AG Office against seven manufacturers of cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, a technology once ubiquitous in television screens and computer monitors, Samsung and six other companies including LG, Panasonic and Toshiba, were accused of manipulating prices to drive up the CRT costs from 1995 to 2007.
The AG Office said the price-fixing conspiracy by those companies caused millions of Washington consumers to be overcharged for their CRT televisions and computer monitors during the 12 years.”When powerful interests illegally conspire behind closed doors to drive up the cost of their products, Washingtonians lose out,” Washington AG Bob Ferguson said.
Washington consumers and business are expected to receive compensations for the products they purchased, which varied from a maximum 20 dollars per CRT monitors and six dollars per CRT television, based on the amount the consumers were overcharged for each CRT device.
All the seven companies will pay Washington a total of 39.65 million dollars, said the AG office, adding that the compensation funds will be distributed to claimants starting in early 2018.Until the late 2000s, CRTs were the primary technology for television screens and computer monitors.
In 1999, CRT monitors accounted for over 90 percent of the retail market for computer monitors in North America.