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3 Firms Confess To Fixing LCD Prices, Agree To Pay $585M Fine

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the win-friends-and-influence-people dept.

Businesses 417

Oldyeller89 writes "LG, Sharp, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes pleaded guilty to charges of price fixing in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. They fixed the prices on LCD screens used not only in their products but also in other products such as Apple's iPods. The three companies agreed to pay $585 million in fines. Perhaps this will cause the price of our TVs to drop?" The New York Times also has a story on the outcome of this case.

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417 comments

Plasma? (5, Interesting)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739061)

I wonder if the price to produce a plasma television is just inherently much higher than LCD if the already generally lower prices on those were being fixed in many cases.

Re:Plasma? (2, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739457)

I wonder if the price to produce a plasma television is just inherently much higher than LCD if the already generally lower prices on those were being fixed in many cases.

Plasmas seem to have become a new sort of discount category, with large, low priced plasmas saturating the market (like 40+" for $700). The downside is that they're 1024x768 usually, and are usually off-brands. And the whole burn-in thing makes me completely put off plasma altogether.

Re:Plasma? (0)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739543)

And the whole burn-in thing makes me completely put off plasma altogether.

Yeah because as CRT's have shown that problem will never be resolved, and besides staring at a dead pixel in the center of your screen.. Well it's just the bees knees! And further more this jump to wide screen really irks me, as my 19" CRT 1280x1024 (1310720) has more pixels then my 19" LCD wide screen 1440x900 (1296000).

Re:Plasma? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739681)

>Yeah because as CRT's have shown that problem will never be resolved, and besides staring at a dead pixel in the center of your screen.. Well it's just the bees knees!

Is this some sort of confused attempt at sarcasm? If it is, I think you're pretty remarkably off the mark.

Re:Plasma? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739561)

If they fixed LCD prices, they probably fixed plasma prices too.

So how much did they make? (5, Insightful)

revlayle (964221) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739067)

$585M in fines... so, how much did they profit before that?

Re:So how much did they make? (5, Insightful)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739131)

...and how much are we the public going to see?

Re:So how much did they make? (5, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739205)

Probably a gift coupon for a $8 mouse. And a lollypop if you are lucky.

Re:So how much did they make? (3, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739319)

what flavour lollipop? It is important for them to earn my forgiveness.

Re:So how much did they make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739493)

Root beer with a dash of pocket lint.

Re:So how much did they make? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739643)

It'll be ass flavoured. So you'll know what kissing their's would taste like.

Re:So how much did they make? (3, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739451)

actually their customers are Apple, and other product makers that paid a few bucks too much per panel and missed sales, not "consumers". So the public really doesn't see any of it as they paid the manufacturer and retailer of the product they bought a market price for the device.

Re:So how much did they make? (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739553)

It's nice how the free market automagically corrects any abuses of the free market. I mean here were a bunch of companies colluding to overcharge for a product, and yet, magically, no consumers were harmed. Yay magical free market, thy invisible hand protects and looks after us all.

Re:So how much did they make? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739765)

Except we're not in a free market. Republicans claim to be for a free market, but being pro established businesses does not a free market make. The patent system is also a big anti-free market force.

Also, free markets don't magically remove all price fixing. It only removes price fixing if the barriers of entry are lower then the opportunities presented by the price fixing.

And nobody has claimed free markets are perfect, just better then the alternatives.

Re:So how much did they make? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739773)

Sure by providing incentives for competitors to enter the market. Now that incentive has gone away. :-(

Re:So how much did they make? (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739845)

Riiiiight. Because so many new LCD factories opened up in the last few years to take advantage of the amazing opportunity presented by price fixing. The free market works incredibly well in theory. If only it worked so well in the real world.

Re:So how much did they make? (3, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739963)

Yes, because the GP's lame argument means ipso facto that he is accurately representing free market economics.

Have you alerted the authorities to your blinding insight that oligarchies can temporarily fix prices even in a free market? No one has ever thought of that before.

Please, keep beating that strawman. You almost have me convinced.

Re:So how much did they make? (3, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739585)

actually their customers are Apple, and other product makers that paid a few bucks too much per panel and missed sales, not "consumers". So the public really doesn't see any of it as they paid the manufacturer and retailer of the product they bought a market price for the device.

A market price that was based, in part, on the cost of the materials which, it turns out, were overpriced due to illegal price fixing.

Re:So how much did they make? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739769)

Consumers who purchased devices which used these screens paid more than a fair market price for the device. They were harmed.

Consumers who would have purchased the device at a fair market price but not at the actual price were denied the use of the device. They were also harmed. (Yes, yes, opportunity cost. That doesn't take away the fact of harm, though. At best it mitigates it.)

You could claim that the actual market price and the fair market price were the same and the price fixing "merely" cut into Apple's profits. But profits are reinvested in development which leads to new innovations and lower costs. Here consumers are also harmed. (Even in the extreme case where these profits were actually denied to investors in the form of lower dividends or reduced stock prices, consumers are still harmed because investors are then less likely to invest funds in the companies which used these screen.)

We can always claim consumers are not harmed if we refuse to follow the money back to the source (i.e., the consumer). That doesn't make it true, though.

Re:So how much did they make? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739771)

WTF are you on about? We'll be PAYING the fucker! Their customers will be paying more and guess who they (Apple, Asus, BTC...) will pass *that* on to?

Sheesh, it's a stealth tax, ferchrissake.

Re:So how much did they make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739241)

Precisely. For corporations crime pays. Since they can't be put in jail they can either sacrifice some of their peons or pay fines that are inconsequential in comparison to the profits reaped thanks to their illegal activities.

Of course if government actually has a spine then the corporation can always threaten to take its ball (jobs, tax-generating income) and play elsewhere.

Ya Know... (4, Funny)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739077)

... I'd expect this kind of BS from Sharp and LG but not from Chunghwa Picture Tubes.

Re:Ya Know... (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739095)

Good thing I held off on buying that Chunghwa set I was eyeing.

Re:Ya Know... (5, Informative)

randyest (589159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739135)

Chunghwa makes panels for Vizio, Syntax, and even Samsung [hardforum.com] and many others you would expect to have their own panels inside. Even Sony and Sharp have shipped products with Chunghwa panels inside, simply because they're cheaper.

Re:Ya Know... (-1, Offtopic)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739991)

Not surprising. Even my dad's old Ford Taurus had an engine that was designed by Yamaha and built in Taiwan, which was also recalled for major manufacturing faults (coolant leaking into the main bearing).

Re:Ya Know... (5, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739289)

... I'd expect this kind of BS from Sharp and LG but not from Chunghwa Picture Tubes.

It's almost to be expected. After the success of "Tubthumping", they were desperate for another avenue. Sadly, they had nowhere to go but down.

FYI: Chunghwa Picture Tubes is a division of... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739293)

Matsumura Fishworks and Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern

Re:FYI: Chunghwa Picture Tubes is a division of... (2, Funny)

Otter Popinski (1166533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739461)

There's your answer, fishbulb.

Bad Timing for LG (4, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739315)

I was just about to buy a new monitor for WotLK so I could quest easier (having quest info from wowhead on monitor A while gaming in windowed mode on monitor B).

Now I'm gonna definitely go with Samsung [futureshop.ca] , because they are not involved in this lawsuit and therefore they must be rewarded for not getting caught. Anyone can tell that Samsung also does not pad their contrast ratios like LG obviously does. Who could believe a 10000:1 contrast ratio [futureshop.ca] ? That's ridiculous! Samsung has decided to only push their padding to 8000:1 which respectfully identifies with the company's obvious higher level of integrity.

The Samsung even looks nicer!

Re:Bad Timing for LG (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739389)

I recently purchases a 2493 from Futureshop and can't say enough about it. Great monitor, and I see its even on sale again (though for a bit more than I got it on sale for). I would imagine that the smaller monitors in the same line are also respecatble.

http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10098388&catid= [futureshop.ca]

Re:Bad Timing for LG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739943)

Posts like yours is why I love Slashdot so much. Mod parent up!!

Re:Bad Timing for LG (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739975)

I bought a Samsung TV that touts about having a 100000:1 (no shit!) contrast ratio.

Re:Ya Know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739445)

WHY? Self loather!!

Re:Ya Know... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739827)

That's it, I'm tearing up all of my Chunghwa coupons.

Re:Ya Know... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739895)

Actually, "Chunghwa" is just the Chinese name for China. Taiwanese companies that have "China" in their names tend to use "Chungwa" instead of "China". I guess that's to avoid confusing westerners who don't know that there are two Chinas — or Sarah Palin, who probably doesn't know there's even one!

But first, a number (3, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739959)

Everybody have fun tonight! (Everybody have fun tonight) Everybody Chunghwa tonight! (Everybody Chunghwa tonight)

Price drop (5, Insightful)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739087)

"Perhaps this will cause the price of our TVs to drop?"

Um, except that they just added $585,000,000.00 to their cost of production, sure.

G.

Re:Price drop (1)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739171)

I believe that that's mostly to discourage them from keeping prices artificially high - and to do something about the profits they received.

Re:Price drop (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739793)

define artificially high. That seems to be a misunderstanding that the US legal system makes against semiconductor companies quite a bit lately. I don't think the courts are quite up to speed on the market situation. It's not that these guys raised prices, it's that they stopped them from falling, typically by organizing production stopage, and switch to new more profitable models, then the whole cycle begins again. In semiconductor manufacturing you always run your factory at full speed, that means at some time of year you have way too much product and customers start waiting you out. That's why products are really expensive, then they make small production changes to make them cheaper, then they get dirt cheap... then back to expensive. If they continue to produce parts, they will wipe out one of the factories... at billions of dollars lost. The US courts also block shipments when foreign governments float loans to manufacturers so their country doesn't lose 2 Billion dollars of fab at a time. That's why helping out auto makers is such a big deal now.

They do it to save their companies from going bankrupt, not to make more profit. The "race to the bottom" has real problems and this is it. Increase people buying or stop making.. but stopping making only works when a group of players takes a holiday at the same time.

Re:Price drop (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739887)

As someone else asked, how does that number compare to the amount of ill-gotten gain? This really doesn't affect cost of production.

Hmmmm (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739089)

So since I paid them more money than I should have, do I get $30x#numberScreensBought out of this $585M fine? Who gets the fine money?

Re:Hmmmm (2, Insightful)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739149)

U.S. Department of Justice is levying the fines, so the money goes to the US Government. The Government will use the money to help bail out banks.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739209)

That's why you shouldn't steal. The government hates competition!

Re:Hmmmm (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739607)

I like paying taxes. My tax money buys me civilization. I just hate freeloaders who want civilization without paying for it. If you don't like civilization, don't live in it. There is plenty of unclaimed land all over the world where you can live without paying taxes to anyone. Have fun!

Re:Hmmmm (1)

wpiman (739077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739219)

Well: I suppose it is better than raising my taxes.

Re:Hmmmm (5, Funny)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739229)

U.S. Department of Justice is levying the fines, so the money goes to the US Government. The Government will use the money to help bail out banks. ... that have no liquidity because of all the people who ran up their credit cards buying LCD televisions on credit and can't pay it back.

Re:Hmmmm (0, Redundant)

residieu (577863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739347)

No, the government will use the money to reward the executives of banks for doing such a great job.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Interesting)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739153)

Since its a fine imposed by the Justice Department, I would imagine the government gets the money (in part to defray the expense of filing and prosecuting the case).

Irony of irony, the advert displayed below the story was for the new Samsung HD TVs. :)

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739755)

$585 million? That should buy 1 more day for the DOD in Iraq.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739179)

The attorneys.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739679)

Which Booth are you referring to?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739923)

Must be the one everyone is familiar with. You know, Phone Booth...:P

Re:Hmmmm (5, Funny)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739567)

Who gets the fine money?

AIG.

Price drop? Don't bet on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739119)

Perhaps this will cause the price of our TVs to drop?"

Right. because nothing lowers a company's prices like an unexpected $585 million expense.

Prices won't drop; profit margins may rise slightl (4, Informative)

colourmyeyes (1028804) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739123)

The LCD's in question were not sold directly to consumers, they were in devices like cell phones and ipods. The cost was absorbed by the manufacturers of these devices, and if it drops, good for them... but do you really think they'll pass that directly on to consumers? The illegal markup per unit probably isn't all that big. This will amount to a small increase in the profit margins of the device manufacturers, if it amounts to anything at all.

Re:Prices won't drop; profit margins may rise slig (2, Insightful)

pavakah (735225) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739353)

The cost was absorbed by the manufacturers of these devices, and if it drops, good for them... but do you really think they'll pass that directly on to consumers?

You really think they were absorbing the cost before? Still, I agree that any price drops will not exactly be through the floor.

Re:Prices won't drop; profit margins may rise slig (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739383)

... and then Apple products cost just as much as their competitor's equivalents, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Re:Prices won't drop; profit margins may rise slig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739599)

"The cost was absorbed by the manufacturers of these devices,.."

WTF are you thinking? Do you not understand how businesses work? If spend money to produce something, you have to pass it on to the consumer, otherwise profit = 0

Re:Prices won't drop; profit margins may rise slig (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739651)

Small increase from small profit margins. Why do you think they were small? More precisely, minimal? Exactly. That is why they will return to their minimal value. Consumers will win.

Re:Prices won't drop; profit margins may rise slig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739785)

Well ... considering the world economy seems to be sliding a bit, manufacturers might need to lower their prices in order for customers to actually be able to afford their products (since customers have already shown they are incapable of NOT buying something even when its in their own best interest).

Re:Prices won't drop; profit margins may rise slig (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739833)

The cost of a mobile phone or iPhone is subsided through a contract with the network operator. You sign a three year contract, then the reduction from $400 to $100 is spread through the months at a rate of $8/month.

brazen (1)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739137)

That's a pretty brazen FU to their consumers and to the law. I can't believe they got away with it for 5 years. What are the chances that $585M is going to find its way back to the consumers that were taken advantage of?

Re:brazen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739313)

Mij shakes Magic 8 Ball...Not Looking Good

Re:brazen (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739359)

Probably none, unless the retail price drops as a result and you happen to be in the market for a new {item_containing_LCD_screen}.

Re:brazen (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739945)

Presumably it will through lower costs in the future.

Lol... (3, Interesting)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739139)

And so, now that we have found out they have fixed prices, we can all feel free to sit with thumbs up our asses about the jacked prices we had to pay to feed companies that agree to pay a fine that is higher than the average amount of money 5 families make in a lifetime.

And $50 says the CEO's won't be taking a dip in their salaries to compensate for the fine; nope, chances are they'll lay off some people and give pay cuts out to everyone that just does their job without trying to find a way to make a quick buck.

Re:Lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739443)

And so, now that we have found out they have fixed prices, we can all feel free to sit with thumbs up our asses about the jacked prices we had to pay to feed companies that agree to pay a fine that is higher than the average amount of money 5 families make in a lifetime.

And $50 says the CEO's won't be taking a dip in their salaries to compensate for the fine; nope, chances are they'll lay off some people and give pay cuts out to everyone that just does their job without trying to find a way to make a quick buck.

According to The NY Times [nytimes.com] many Sharp executives are taking 10-30% pay decrease for 3 months to improve investor confidence.

Not that it's much.

Re:Lol... (1)

toiletsalmon (309546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739515)

"And $50 says the CEO's won't be taking a dip in their salaries to compensate for the fine; nope, chances are they'll lay off some people and give pay cuts out to everyone that just does their job without trying to find a way to make a quick buck."

Ahhh. I can tell that you must NOT be new here...I'd say your $50 will continue to be safe and warm in your pocket.

Here's hoping (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739141)

32" tv's just won't fall through the $500 floor, you could easily get a CRT of that size for under half that price and there was significantly more material involved in making the CRT (though admittedly less process).

Re:Here's hoping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739335)

Why would you want a CRT? An online poultry source had 37" LCDs for less than $600 just last week.

Unfortunately this whole case sounds like
"Me soo solly, you wanna eggy roll?"
   

Re:Here's hoping (1)

KovaaK (1347019) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739447)

Depends on the situation. For playing games, I'll be sticking with CRTs for a few more years to come. LCD response times and refresh rates are way behind CRTs. Refresh rates are coming along, but response rates of LCDs are so much worse that it isn't funny.

Re:Here's hoping (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739865)

Do what you want, but I switched from a CRT to an LCD about two years ago, and only saw good things (crisper picture, better colours). I'd add more screen real-estate but I went from a 21" CRT to a 32" LCD. It was the right TV for the space, and when SD format shows are "columned" with those black bars on the sides the actual screen used is ~21" so it was switching to a comparable model.

Personally I expect prices to drop big time this season and next as the recession the holiday season and the mandatory analog cut-over all hit together, so feel free to hold off as long as you want.

Re:Here's hoping (1)

J Isaksson (721660) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739339)

You can pretty easily get a 32" LCD TV for around $250 [netonnet.se] in Sweden, and that's including 25% sales tax, so should be pretty easy over there too, no?

Re:Here's hoping (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739423)

Interesting, I have never seen anything that cheap in the US (32" LCD is firmly in the $500 range). Does Centrum go by any other brands? I can't find anything about them.

Re:Here's hoping (1)

J Isaksson (721660) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739577)

Heh, you can but I see I linked to a non LCD TV in this case... :-P I'll find a new link and return ;-)

Re:Here's hoping (0, Offtopic)

zxnos (813588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739403)

there is more material in my bowel than on the beautiful mrs. zxnos' left hand ring finger, yet i can't seem to move it...

Re:Here's hoping (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739435)

you could easily get a CRT of that size for under half that price

Right now I'm trying to unload a 132lb 32" JVC CRT Goliath that I paid $1000 for 6 years ago. I don't know where you were buying CRTs, but that was pretty much the bottom of the category.

However you can get some remarkably good deals with LCDs right now, though you might not get the highest contrast ratio, colour accuracy, or response rate.

Re:Here's hoping (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739901)

Five or six years ago, a 26" CRT TV cost around 400 pounds ($600). Now, you can buy 32" HD LCD/plasma TV's straight from the supermarket shelf.

i doubt it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739175)

I doubt it - they're probably going to use this as an excuse to keep the prices up in order to recoup the lost money.

for that matter, i wonder by how much it affected the prices relative to the competitive market...

Who gets the money? (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739255)

I'm guessing that the people who bought laptops etc. with all those overpriced screens in them won't see a dime of it. Just a guess though.

Crazy Eddies LCD Emporium. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739331)

"Perhaps this will cause the price of our TVs to drop?""

I don't know if you're aware of this but the prices on LCDs have been dropping?

Re:Crazy Eddies LCD Emporium. (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739419)

yeah, i was hit on the head by an lcd price drop just the other day. i am going to carry an umbrella here on out.

Re:Crazy Eddies LCD Emporium. (1)

Oldyeller89 (1405985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739441)

Yea I know, perhaps that's the reason they price fixed. But now that it is clear the prices were too high, prices should drop even more. I have no idea by how much though or as others said if the savings will be passed down to the consumer at all. Maybe only the manufacturers of items such as the ipod and others with LCD screens will see production savings.

No price drop for you! (5, Insightful)

jvkjvk (102057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739379)

Perhaps this will cause the price of our TVs to drop?

Perhaps instead they will factor this cost into their new products in attempt to recoup this lost $$.

So the scenario is: Purchaser is hurt due to collusion and price fixing. Companies are caught. Purchaser is hurt due to fines.

Fines are only a deterrent if they actually hurt the companies bottom lines. If they can make enough profit during the price fixing phase, and jack up enough prices during the penalty phase to more than offset the penalty there will continue to be massive collusion in such systems.

Re:No price drop for you! (5, Interesting)

Prof Dodecahedron (1233766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739609)

Maybe they should fine the board members instead, and disallow them from receiving bonuses/stock/pay increases for 5 or 10 years. You can't punish companies but you can punish people.

Re:No price drop for you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739721)

Unless the fine comes from the pocket of the executive who did the deed . . . but wait, then he will insist on being paid a "bonus" for his masterful business acumen while at the helm.

Re:No price drop for you! (2, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739781)

Companies are caught. Purchaser is hurt due to fines.

That would only be true if companies were complete monopolies and purchasers were FORCED to buy their products at a specific time... Neither is true.

If Samsung and LG raise prices, their competitors will benefit, getting more sales, AND consumers will see that prices are a bit high, and opt not to buy a new device with an LCD screen.

Re:No price drop for you! (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739879)

companies charge what the market will bear. If the market was ok with a price jack by each company individually, they would charge it already. Collusion is a means by which you make a market accept an artificially inflated price.

I.e. The fine should have no bearing on retail price, if these companies intend to remain competitive.

Re:No price drop for you! (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739891)

While it is true that fines may not be effective deterrents by themselves, it is also true that such cartel like behaviors, particularly in manufactured goods which do not have other limiting factors (as natural resources like oil do), inevitably break down over time as the incentives to cheat and produce more units than agreed or suddenly drop prices to gain a momentary advantage become ever greater until one of the cartel members does one or both and effectively dissolves the agreement. You might face high prices in the meantime as a consumer, but it also costs money to investigate and bust cartels (which tend to bust themselves eventually anyway) and a flat screen TV isn't exactly a necessity. If you didn't like the prices then wait and buy one when the prices improve. If the consumer is persistent and refuses to pay an inflated price then the prices will eventually come down anyway, cartel or not, provided that consumer is willing to tough it out and play hardball with the manufacturers.

Re:No price drop for you! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25740001)

That doesn't make sense. The price fixing happens because the overcapacity in the market would otherwise cause the price to drop. If the market were willing to pay a higher price, then they would simply increase the price of their products. They wouldn't wait until they're fined and they wouldn't collude in the first place.

Don't expect prices to rise any time soon. (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739407)

Now, they have to make up the cost of the fines. It'll take a while to amortize that out.

(problem is, I'm not sure that I'm kidding).

The Nerve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739483)

"Sharp understands the gravity of this situation and will strengthen and thoroughly implement measures to prevent the recurrence of this kind of problem, and will earnestly work to regain the public's confidence,"

Don't you just love how they don't ever admit they did anything wrong? They sort of sidestep the whole thing with phrases like "Implement measures" and "this kind of problem". Almost like it was some kind of accident.

"Dear Consumers, it has recently being brought to our attention that we have been secrectly working together with our competitors to ram you up the ass and take all your money. I assure you we are as shocked as you are, and we assure you that now that we have been caught, we will do everything in our power to make sure such an embaressing thing (us being caught) never happens again!"

Is this related? (3, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739507)

Does this have anything to do with the ridiculous inability of the laptop LCD screen market to put out 1920x1080 screens?

It's as though they're keeping the market for TV screens expensive by not allowing the format to bleed into laptop realm, wherupon cheap computers become high-quality televisions, killing the TV screen market.

Re:Is this related? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739539)

Im typing this on a Dell D830 with a 1920x1080 17" screen on it.....

Re:Is this related? (2, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739695)

Maybe there is a limit on the clock speed? 1920 x 1080 x 50/60 Hz would give a clock speed in the range 103 MHz to 124.4 MHz, and a double-buffered 32-bit framebuffer of 16 MBytes.

Re:Is this related? (1)

KingJ (992358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739843)

A friend of mine has a Dell Vostro 1700 (17") (and another friend with the 1710), both have 1920x1200 screens. It cost £90 over the 1280x800 option. Not the exact 1920x1080 you are talking about, but nothing wrong with some extra pixels.

I have the Vostro 1500 (15") where the highest is 1680x1050, which is great.

Please read Economics in One Lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739805)

Please read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.

Artificially inflated price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25739819)

I wonder how many electronics have an artificially inflated price?
Why flood an already saturated market with more devices when you can gain so much more by selling less at a *premium* price.
Given today's technological advancements it still looks like a bargain.

is 585M enough? (1)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25739825)

i really don't think they care that much about the 585 million dollars. they are huge companies that make the small screen that are put into almost everything. i think the bad rap from getting owned by some anti-trust law will just give them a public relations shock. thats why they will drop prices
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