Linked by weildish on Sun 18th Jan 2009 23:33 UTC
Legal Current and former executives from LG, Chunghwa, and Sharp have all agreed to plead guilty to various charges of fixing the prices of TFT-LCD screens. The executives will face six to nine months in jail, pay $20,000-$50,000 fines, and have also agreed to help the United States government in other LCD price fixing investigations. The companies themselves are ending up having to pay criminal fines to the government of $585 million, collectively. It was mentioned that Sharp was fixing the prices of LCDs sold to Apple, Dell, and Motorola. Hopefully this means that the prices of technology utilizing LCD screens is going to drop from this point onwards, but in times like these, you never do know.
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v what a waste...
by Yamin on Mon 19th Jan 2009 00:50 UTC
RE: what a waste...
by Lu-Tze on Mon 19th Jan 2009 06:52 UTC in reply to "what a waste..."
Lu-Tze Member since:
2006-01-10

Please make an effort to read the article before you comment. Price fixing means that you talk to the competition and agree to fix a certain price so that buyer can't play them off of each other. For instance, from the article, "an LG employee...conspired with unnamed employees from other panel makers to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices of TFT-LCD panels" In industries that have a relatively small number of manufacturers (e.g. LCD manufacturers) this becomes akin to a cartel or even a monopoly - as far as pricing is concerned.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: what a waste...
by Yamin on Mon 19th Jan 2009 13:06 UTC in reply to "RE: what a waste..."
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

I know what price fixing is. I just don't see anything wrong with it.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: what a waste...
by bile on Mon 19th Jan 2009 14:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what a waste..."
bile Member since:
2005-07-08

I know what price fixing is. I just don't see anything wrong with it.


I agree. Fundamentally this is a property rights issue. The government has no legitimate role in telling an individual or group of individuals how they can utilize or transfer their property so long as their actions do not infringe on another's property rights. Unions price fix all the time and you rarely hear anyone in government complain about that. In fact they often pass statute to give their actions greater weight.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: what a waste...
by miscz on Mon 19th Jan 2009 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what a waste..."
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

It creates an illusion that there is no monopoly on the market.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: what a waste...
by CaptainN- on Mon 19th Jan 2009 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what a waste..."
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

So you don't mind monopolies? A cartel and a monopoly are essentially the same problem, they are just structured differently.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: what a waste...
by Yamin on Mon 19th Jan 2009 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: what a waste..."
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

No, I have no problems with monopolies as long as they are not granted special privilege by the government.

Telecom, electricity, water... all get special privilege from the government to operate. So, those monopolies MUST be controlled.

Beyond that, I have no issue. I mean, especially with such a commodity item as LCDs. LCDs are not even part of infrastructure (Networking, OS...) They are a commodity product.

There MIGHT be a case if they collude to price the item below the manufacturing cost to drive out any competition. But if they're price fixing to keep prices high... I have no issue with that. It just leaves room for competitors to step in. If they priced it too high, HP, Apple.. have plenty of money to setup their own LCD factories.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: what a waste...
by tyrione on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: what a waste..."
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

Out of curiosity, what country do you reside?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: what a waste...
by Yamin on Tue 20th Jan 2009 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: what a waste..."
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

Canada

Reply Score: 1

Competition
by robojerk on Mon 19th Jan 2009 01:41 UTC
robojerk
Member since:
2006-01-10

Don't steal.
The government doesn't like competition.

Reply Score: 4

I dont understand either.
by iwod on Mon 19th Jan 2009 01:51 UTC
iwod
Member since:
2006-05-02

Look at DRAM now. Yes they price fix it long ago to get the profit, for what i thought they deserve. A few billion dollars.

And now they lost 10 billions dollars.

They get government intervene with price fixing. ( As if the LCD / DRAM market is not competitive enough ) .

And they get government funding when they lost money.

What is happening with Free economy? May be government should run everything?

Reply Score: 0

RE: I dont understand either.
by slight on Mon 19th Jan 2009 08:48 UTC in reply to "I dont understand either."
slight Member since:
2006-09-10

"They get government intervene with price fixing. ( As if the LCD / DRAM market is not competitive enough ) "

Er, do you understand what price fixing is? If there's price fixing among the major players then the market isn't competitive.

Reply Score: 6

RE: I dont understand either.
by _xmv on Mon 19th Jan 2009 14:33 UTC in reply to "I dont understand either."
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

they deserve. A few billion dollars.

And now they lost 10 billions dollars.

since when 10 billions aren't "a few billions"

Reply Score: 1

Do what we say...
by robinh on Mon 19th Jan 2009 08:27 UTC
robinh
Member since:
2006-12-19

Of course, wrong-doing U.S execs get government bail outs and multi-million dollar golden parachutes (*cough* Bear Stearns, *cough* Lehman Brothers). So, the message is "do what we say, not what we do".

Doesn't hipocracy smell great?!

Reply Score: 4

A Symptom, Not The Problem
by Starclopsofish on Tue 20th Jan 2009 01:52 UTC
Starclopsofish
Member since:
2009-01-15

Theoretically, if we had a true free market, this wouldn't be an issue. But, as usual, we look to the government to solve all our problems. Would the free market system work flawlessly? Who knows. Maybe we should try it sometime.

You'd think after a few millenia of economic slavery, someone would have given it a shot by now... I can always dream, can't I?

Reply Score: 1

Also...
by Starclopsofish on Tue 20th Jan 2009 01:57 UTC
Starclopsofish
Member since:
2009-01-15

Are these "Asian Executives" even US citizens? Since when do we have the right to kidnap foreigners and imprison them in the US? Eh... nvm don't answer that.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Also...
by Johann Chua on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:27 UTC in reply to "Also..."
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

I take it you haven't heard of extradition treaties?

Reply Score: 2