Consumers Who Purchased a TV, Monitor, Notebook Computer, Cell Phone or MP3 Player with a Flat Panel Screen from 1998 to 2006 May Benefit from Madigan’s Settlement
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that Illinois consumers have until October 4, 2016, to claim money they may have overpaid on purchases of TVs, monitors, notebook computers, cell phones, MP3 players and other products that contain liquid crystal display (LCD) screens as part of a $104 million settlement with manufacturers.
The settlement stems from Madigan’s lawsuit against major technology companies alleging the companies illegally fixed the prices for LCD screens used in electronic devices. Illinois residents who purchased technology with LCD screens from 1998 to 2006 may be eligible for restitution under the settlement. The maximum amount eligible consumers can potentially recover will vary by device, ranging from $270 for a TV to $20 for a small-screen device. Individual recovery amounts will depend on the number of claims per device submitted and the total recovery.
“These companies illegally conspired to fix prices for LCD screens,” Madigan said. “I encourage Illinois consumers to file claims to recover money if they overpaid.”
The settlement was entered with Chi Mei Innolux, Epson, Hitachi, LG Display and Sharp. Funds will also be distributed from a previous settlement with Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. Madigan’s lawsuit alleged that the price fixing caused the prices for the products containing the screens to be raised to levels significantly above the amounts Illinois consumers would otherwise have paid if the prices had been set through normal competition.
The settlement includes most notebook computers with color displays, flat screen monitors, TVs referred to as LCD or LED TVs, cell phones, MP3 players and other handheld devices with high resolution color displays. The settlement provides restitution for any person or business that purchased LCD products while residing in Illinois for personal use and not for resale. Illinois counties, municipalities, townships, and other subdivisions that purchased technology with LCD screens from 1998 to 2006 may also file claims to receive payment.
Consumers and other claimants must submit a claim form to receive payment. Claim forms can be filed online at www.illinoislcdsettlement.com. The deadline to file claims is October 4, 2016. More information about the settlement is available by visiting www.illinoislcdsettlement.com or by calling 1-800-949-0146. Claims can also be submitted via mail to:
LCD Illinois Claims
Eligible businesses and individual consumers can choose not to participate in the settlement and the ongoing lawsuit against three remaining LCD manufacturers, AU Optronics, Samsung and Toshiba. The deadline to opt-out is June 4, 2016. Any request for exclusion or objection must be mailed to:
LCD Illinois Indirect Exclusions
In addition to monetary relief, the settlement also requires LCD manufacturers to implement antitrust compliance programs and prohibits them from certain conduct related to the sale of LCD screens that would violate the antitrust laws.
Payments from the settlement are subject to the court’s final approval of the settlement.
Assistant Attorneys General Blake Harrop, Chadwick Brooker, Elizabeth Maxeiner and Angelina Whitfield are handling the case for Madigan’s Antitrust Bureau.