By Donna Gehrke-White
3:07 PM EST, November 13, 2012
Consumers who purchased laptops, flat-screen televisions or computer monitors with LCD screens from 1999 to 2006 could get money back, thanks to a $1.1 billion settlement.
But consumers and businesses have less than a month to file claims at LCDclass.com or by calling 855-225-1886, according to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The deadline to file is Dec. 6.
Payments range from $25 to more than $200, according to the website LCDclass.com.
The massive settlement came after Bondi and officials from 23 other states and the District of Columbia took companies to court for price fixing in a plot to keep prices high for LCD screens.
Without admitting guilt, several manufacturers settled, including AU Optronics, Hitachi Ltd., Sharp, Toshiba, Samsung Electronics, Epson Imaging Devices, LG Electronics, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, HannStar Display and Chi Mei Optoelectronics. The firms' settling ended litigation.The attorneys general from Florida, 23 other states and the District of Columbia had joined with the lead class counsel for private plaintiffs, to pursue the original lawsuit after allegations arose that several companies were plotting to keep prices high on thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display panels, the most common form of LCD panels used in popular electronic devices. The companies were accused of organizing the conspiracy at secret meetings and telephone conversations.
In settling, the firms agreed to pay penalties, establish antitrust compliance programs and write yearly compliance reports. Florida will receive about $5 million in civil penalties, according to Bondi.
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