Oregon LCD & CRT Screen Antitrust Lawsuits

Oregon LCD & CRT Screen Antitrust Lawsuits
Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Frequently Asked Questions

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BASIC INFORMATION

1. What Court is in charge of these cases?

The Court in charge of the LCD Settlements is the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The case is called In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1827. The Oregon Attorney General sued, and the companies being sued are called the Defendants (see Question 6).

The Court in charge of the CRT Settlements is the Circuit Court for Multnomah County in the State of Oregon. The case is called State of Oregon, ex rel. Ellen Rosenblum v. LG Electronics, Inc., et al., Multnomah County Circuit Court Case No. 120810246. The Oregon Attorney General sued, and the companies being sued are called the Defendants (see Question 20).

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2. What are the lawsuits about?

The Attorney General claims that the Defendants in each lawsuit conspired to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize prices of TFT-LCD Flat Panels or Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) resulting in overcharges to consumers who indirectly bought TVs, monitors or notebook computers containing the TFT-LCD Flat Panels or CRTs. The Defendants deny the Attorney General’s allegations or that indirect purchasers suffered any overcharge. In each case, the Attorney General sought equitable relief, restitution and civil penalties, and also sought injunctive relief to stop the Defendants' alleged illegal behavior and make sure that it doesn't happen in the future. In each case the Court has not yet decided who is right.

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3. What is a CRT?

“CRT” stands for Cathode Ray Tube. CRTs were used in many televisions and computer monitors until the invention of TFT-LCD Flat Panels.

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4. What is a TFT-LCD Flat Panel?

“TFT-LCD” stands for Thin-Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Display. TFT-LCD flat panels are the glass display panels used in many flat screen TVs, computer monitors and notebook computers.

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LCD SETTLEMENTS

5. How do I know if I am included?

The Attorney General’s LCD Settlements include the State of Oregon (which includes all state government entities), and all Oregon political subdivisions or natural persons who indirectly purchased at any time during the years 2002 through 2006 for their own use and not for resale one or more TVs, monitors and/or notebook computers that included a TFT-LCD flat panel.

To be included, a natural person must have resided in Oregon at the time of his or her purchase and have purchased the products in Oregon. An indirect purchaser is someone that purchased LCD flat panels or products containing LCD flat panels from someone other than the manufacturer, such as from an electronics retailer. “Political subdivisions” include all Oregon counties, cities, municipalities, public universities, school districts, special districts, and all other local government entities. “Oregon natural persons” means a human, not a business.

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6. Who are the Defendant companies?

The Defendants in the LCD Settlements are manufacturers and/or suppliers of TFT-LCD Flat Panels. The LCD Defendant companies are:

  • AU Optronics Corp.; AU Optronics Corp. America (“AU Optronics”);
  • Chimei Innolux Corp. (formerly known as Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. and now known as Innolux Corp.); Chi Mei Corp.; Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp.; Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc.; CMO Japan Co., Ltd. ("Chimei");
  • Epson Imaging Devices Corp. ("Epson");
  • HannStar Display Corp. ("HannStar");
  • Hitachi, Ltd.; Hitachi Displays, Ltd.; Hitachi Electronic Devices (USA), Inc. ("Hitachi Displays");
  • LG Display Co., Ltd.; LG Display America, Inc. (“LG”);
  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.; Samsung Electronics America, Inc. ("Samsung");
  • Sharp Corp.; Sharp Electronics Corp. ("Sharp"); and
  • Toshiba Corporation; Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.; Toshiba Mobile Display Company, Ltd; Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (“Toshiba”).

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7. What do the Settlements provide?

There are nine Settlements, totaling $21,505,000, all of which have been approved by the Court. The Settlement Fund will be used to pay the State of Oregon, its political subdivisions and natural persons. More details about the anticipated distribution of the Settlement Fund are available in the Settlement Agreements, which are posted on the LCD Court Documents page.

Any interest earned will be added to the Settlement Fund. The cost to administer the Settlements as well as Court-authorized attorneys' fees and associated costs will come out of the Settlement Fund.

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8. How much money can I get?

Payments to the State of Oregon and political subdivisions will be calculated based on the number of full time employees of the entity during the relevant time period. The State of Oregon and political subdivisions do not need to submit a claim.

Payments to Oregon natural persons will be based on the number and type of Flat Panel product(s) you purchased and are anticipated to be up to $102.90 per device purchased. The purchase must have been made in Oregon and the purchaser must have been a resident of Oregon at the time of purchase. It is anticipated that a minimum payment of $50.42 will be made to each person who submits a valid claim. In order to receive a payment you will need to file a valid claim form.

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9. When will I get a payment?

Payments are anticipated to be made in 2017. Funds will be distributed as ordered by the Court.

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10. What is the injunctive relief?

Defendants have agreed not to engage in certain conduct that would violate the antitrust laws that are at issue in these Lawsuits. They also agree to establish (or maintain) a program to educate their employees about complying with the law, and report on their compliance with this requirement for a period of five years.

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11. What am I giving up if I stay in the lawsuit?

The deadline to file an exclusion in the LCD Settlements has passed.

You will give up any right you may have to sue any of the Defendants (and certain related entities defined in the Settlement Agreements) on your own for the claims in this case unless you exclude yourself from the Attorney General’s lawsuit. You also will be bound by any decisions of the Court relating to the lawsuit and Settlements.

In return for paying the Settlement amounts, the Settling Defendants (and certain related entities defined in the Settlement Agreements) will be released from all claims relating to the facts underlying the lawsuit, as more fully described in the Settlement Agreements posted on the LCD Court Documents page. The Settlement Agreements describe the released claims in detail, so read them carefully since those descriptions are binding to you. If you have any questions, you can call 1-877-940-7791, or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means.

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12. How do I get out of the Attorney General’s lawsuit?

The deadline to file an exclusion in the LCD Settlements has passed.

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13. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue for the same thing later?

No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right you may have to sue the Defendants (and certain related entities defined in the Settlement Agreements) for the claims in this case.

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14. If I exclude myself, can I still get benefits from the Settlements?

No. If you exclude yourself, you will not get any benefit as a result of the Settlements in this matter.

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15. Do I have a lawyer representing me?

The Attorney General of Oregon is representing the State of Oregon, Oregon political subdivisions, and Oregon natural persons. You do not have to pay the Attorney General separately. The Attorney General will be paid by asking the Court for a share of the Settlement proceeds. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, and have that lawyer appear in court for you, you must exclude yourself from the Action and hire an attorney at your own expense.

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16. How will the lawyers be paid?

The Attorney General will ask the Court for attorneys' fees based on the work of her office on this litigation, in an amount not to exceed 20% of the Settlement Fund, plus reimbursement of their costs and expenses. Any payment to the Attorney General will be subject to Court approval and the Court may award less than the requested amount. The fees, costs, expenses and awards that the Court orders, plus the costs to administer the Settlement, will come out of the Settlement Fund. The Attorney General’s motion for fees, costs and expenses, will be available on this website at a later date.

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17. Will there be a trial?

If the LCD Settlements receive final approval from the Court, no trial will occur. Each Defendant has the option of terminating its settlement if the number of Oregon natural persons and political subdivisions excluding themselves is greater than certain previously agreed upon amounts. If any Defendant terminates its settlement, the Attorney General will have to prove her claims against that Defendant.

During any such trial, a decision would be reached about whether the Attorney General or the Defendant is right about the claims in the lawsuit. In a trial, there is no guarantee that the Attorney General will win any money or benefits for consumers.

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18. Would I receive money after any trials?

If there is a trial and the Attorney General wins at trial, it is possible but not guaranteed that additional money or benefits would be available for natural persons or political subdivisions. Whether you receive any additional money or benefits after a trial may depend on whether you have already been paid the maximum amount for your claim, and in any event, payment is subject to the Court’s approval.

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CRT SETTLEMENTS

19. How do I know if I am included?

The Attorney General’s lawsuit represents the State of Oregon (which includes all state government entities), and all Oregonians or natural persons who indirectly purchased at any time during 1995 through 2007 for their own use, and not for resale, CRT panels incorporated in TVs and computer monitors. “Oregon natural persons” means a human, not a business. To be eligible, an Oregon natural person must have resided in Oregon at the time of his or her purchase and have purchased the products in Oregon. An indirect purchaser is someone that purchased CRTs or products containing CRTs from someone other than the manufacturer, such as from an electronics retailer.

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20. Who are the Defendant companies?

The Defendants in the CRT Settlements are manufacturers and/or suppliers of CRTs. The Defendant companies are:

  • LG Electronics, Inc.; LG Electronics U.S.A,; (“LG”)
  • Philips Electronics North America Corporation; (“Philips”)
  • Samsung SDI Co., Ltd. formerly known as Samsung Display Device Co., Ltd.; Samsung SDI America Inc.; Samsung SDI Mexico S.A. DE C.V.; Samsung SDI Brasil Ltda.; Shenzhen Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.; Tianjin Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.; Samsung SDI (Malaysia) SDN. BHD.; (“Samsung”)
  • Toshiba Corporation; Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.; Toshiba America Consumer Products, LLC; (“Toshiba”)
  • Panasonic Corporation f/k/a Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.; Panasonic Corporation Of North America; MT Picture Display Co. Ltd. (“Panasonic”)
  • Hitachi, Ltd.; Hitachi Displays, Ltd.; Hitachi Electronic Devices (USA), Inc.; Hitachi America, Ltd., Hitachi Asia, Ltd.; (“Hitachi”)

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21. What do the Settlements provide?

Five Settlements, totaling $3,645,000, have been approved by the Court. The Settlement Fund will be used to pay the State of Oregon and Oregon natural persons. More details about the anticipated distribution of the Settlement Fund are available in the Settlement Agreements, which are posted on the CRT Court Documents page.

Any interest earned will be added to the Settlement Fund. The cost to administer the Settlements as well as Court-authorized attorneys' fees and associated costs will come out of the Settlement Fund.

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22. Why are there Settlements but the lawsuit is continuing?

Settlements have been finalized and approved by the Court as to Panasonic, Hitachi, Toshiba, Philips, and LG.

The remaining defendant, Samsung, has agreed to settle, but the settlement has not been finalized and approved by the Court so the lawsuit continues against Samsung. Additional money may become available as a result of this settlement or a trial. Alternatively, should there be a trial the case may be resolved in favor of Samsung, in which case no additional money would become available. There is no guarantee as to what will happen.

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23. How much money can I get?

Payments to Oregon natural persons will be based on the number and type of CRT product(s) you purchased. The purchase must have been made in Oregon and the purchaser must have been a resident of Oregon at the time of purchase. In order to receive a payment you will need to file a valid claim form. The Court has not yet set a deadline for filing claims as the case has not concluded. You can submit a claim form online or by mail.

Payment to the State of Oregon will be made automatically in an amount determined by the Court. The State of Oregon does not need to submit a claim.

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24. When will I get a Payment?

Payments are anticipated to be made following the conclusion of the case and will be distributed as ordered by the Court.

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25. What am I giving up if I stay in the lawsuit?

You will give up any right you may have to sue any of the Defendants (and certain related entities defined in the Settlement Agreements) on your own for the claims in this case unless you exclude yourself from the Attorney General’s lawsuit. You also will be bound by any decisions of the Court relating to the lawsuit and Settlements.

In return for paying the Settlement amounts, the Settling Defendants (and certain related entities defined in the Settlement Agreements) will be released from all claims relating to the facts underlying the lawsuit, as more fully described in the Settlement Agreements posted on the CRT Court Documents page. The Settlement Agreements describe the released claims in detail, so read them carefully since those descriptions are binding to you. If you have any questions, you can call 1-877-940-7791, or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means.

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26. How do I get out of the Attorney General’s lawsuit?

The deadline to file an exclusion in the CRT Settlements has passed.

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27. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue for the same thing later?

No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right you may have to sue the Defendants (and certain related entities defined in the Settlement Agreements) for the claims in this case.

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28. If I exclude myself, can I still get benefits from the Trial or Settlements?

No. If you exclude yourself, you will not get any benefit as a result of the trial or settlements in this matter.

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29. Do I have a lawyer representing me?

The Attorney General of Oregon is representing the State of Oregon and Oregon natural persons. You do not have to pay the Attorney General separately. The Attorney General will be paid by asking the Court for a share of the Settlement Fund. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, and have that lawyer appear in court for you, you must exclude yourself from the lawsuit and hire an attorney at your own expense.

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30. How will the lawyers be paid?

The Attorney General will ask the Court for attorneys' fees based on the work of her office on this litigation, plus reimbursement of their costs and expenses. Any payment to the Attorney General will be subject to Court approval and the Court may award less than the requested amount. The fees, costs, expenses and awards that the Court orders, plus the costs to administer the Settlement, will come out of the Settlement Fund. The Attorney General’s motion for fees, costs and expenses, will be available on this website at a later date.

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31. Will there be a trial?

If the lawsuit is not dismissed or settled, the Attorney General will have to prove its claims against the Non-Settling Defendants.

During a trial, a decision will be reached about whether the Attorney General or the Non-Settling Defendants are right about the claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Attorney General will win any additional money or benefits for consumers.

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32. Would I receive money after any trial?

If there is a trial and the Attorney General wins at trial, it is possible but not guaranteed that additional money or benefits would be available for Oregon natural persons. Whether you receive any additional money or benefits after a trial may depend on whether you have already been paid the maximum amount for your claim and in any event is subject to the Court’s approval.

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GET MORE INFORMATION

33. Where can I get more information?

You can get more information about the Lawsuits and Settlements by calling 1-877-940-7791, or writing to:

Oregon Screen Settlements
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 10240
Dublin, OH 43017-5740

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