'Tis the season for settling antitrust lawsuits, folks. Earlier this month, Sharp, Samsung, Hitachi and other LCD panel producers settled out their price fixing lawsuit
with direct purchasers (read: TV and computer monitor manufacturers) for $388 million. So the story goes, the companies colluded to assure higher prices on LCDs sold between 1999 and 2006. Now, those same seven companies have settled up with indirect LCD purchasers -- aka the folks buying TVs and PCs -- to the tune of $539 million. Samsung, Sharp and Chimei are dishing out the lion's share of settlement dollars at $240 million, $115 million and $110 million, respectively, with the other companies kicking in between $2.8 and $39 million for their (allegedly) anti-competitive ways. Of course, the settlement isn't final until it receives the court's blessing, but you can see what the judge will likely be rubber-stamping at the source below.