BEIJING, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Samsung, LG and four Taiwanese firms have been fined heavily for price-fixing of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels on the Chinese mainland.
These companies have been ordered to pay 144 million yuan in fines and return 172 million yuan of extra payment to Chinese mainland buyers. The government also confiscated 36.75 million yuan of their illegal gains, China's top price regulator said Friday.
The four firms from Taiwan are Chi Mei Optoelectronics, AU Optronics, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and HannStar Display.
The six companies were fined for price-rigging on the Chinese mainland between 2001 and 2006, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The NDRC launched an investigation after receiving multiple complaints since Dec. 2006 about price-fixing involving the six companies.
During the investigation, the firms confessed that they held 53 meetings between 2001 and 2006 to fix the prices of flat panels supplied to the Chinese mainland market. This harmed the interests of both other LCD panel suppliers and consumers, according to the NDRC.
LCD panels accounted for about 80 percent of the production cost of color TVs during the 2001-2006 period. More recently, the rate is around 70 percent, according to NDRC data.
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