Hitachi exec indicted in LCD price-fixing scheme

Sakae Someya is the eighth person charged in the scandal involving fixing the price of LCD screens sold to Dell.

Hitachi executive Sakae Someya was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury in San Francisco for his role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of LCD screens.

Someya is accused of conspiring with others in the LCD display business "to suppress and eliminate competition" by fixing the price of the panels sold to Dell for notebook PCs. Someya is accused of participating in the scheme between January 2001 through December 2004. That would be a violation of the Sherman Act, which can result in a $1 million fine and a 10-year prison sentence.

Someya's indictment brings the total number of individuals charged in the case to eight, representing four different companies. The Justice Department has assessed more than $585 million in fines related to the price-fixing scheme.

Someya's employer, Hitachi Displays, agreed earlier this month to pay a $31 million fine for its role. LG, Sharp, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes have also plead guilty and paid fines for their roles. In February, the CEO and two executives of Chunghwa and an LG executive were sentenced to jail time and fined for similar charges as Someya.

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