Allegations of LCD price-fixing
have been swirling around for years now, and it looks like at least some of the companies involved have dirt on their hands -- LG, Sharp and Chunghwa Picture Tubes have all just pled guilty to price-fixing in a case filed by the US Department of Justice and will pay a combined $585m fine. LG's taking the biggest hit at $400m for conspiring to fix prices from September 2001 to June 2006, while Sharp's on the hook for $120m for jacking prices on panels sold to Dell, Motorola and Apple during the same time frame. Naughty, naughty. It also sounds like this plea agreement is more than just a sterile attempt to cut losses -- Sharp's exec staff is taking a 10 to 30 percent pay cut for three months as punishment to reassure its shareholders. Sounds like a plan -- how about refunding some of that cash to us chumps out here buying your overpriced products?