Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- If you recently bought a device with an LCD screen, you could soon get some money back. New York is in line for millions of dollars as part of a huge settlement with a number of electronic manufacturers. The State Attorney General says they were involved in a price-fixing conspiracy, which led to consumers paying artificially inflated prices.
Recognizable names like Epson, Hitachi, Samsung and Sharp are involved in the scheme. Seven corporations in all have agreed to pay $553 million to a total of 24 states. New York's portion could add up to $11 million.
The Attorney General’s Office is calling the group a cartel that fixed prices for a certain type of LCD screen. They’re called TFT LCD panels, or screens, that use thin film transistors. It’s just one type of LCD screen, but more popular than many others on the market. The screens are used in TVs, computer monitors and laptops. The AG says millions have been sold here in New York at illegally fixed prices.
To compensate consumers, partial refunds are on the way. Those who purchased TFT LCD panels from the seven companies included in the settlement and during a specific time period – beginning on January 1, 1999 and ending on December 31, 2006 – are eligible. Anyone who thinks they may have this type of screen should apply for a refund. We’re told information on how to apply will be issued later.
Along with compensation, part of this settlement also requires these companies to cooperate with New York’s ongoing prosecution of other participants. The AG’s Office says it’s still pursuing three other corporations charged with participating in the scheme. Below is a full list of companies involved
- Chi Mei Innolux Corporation
- Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd.
- Epson Imaging Devices Corporation
- HannStar Display Corporation
- Hitachi Displays, Ltd.
- Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
- Sharp Corporation
- And certain affiliated entities of each corporation