Retrial For AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE: AUO) Executive In LCD Price Fixing Case-DELL, HPQ

AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE:AUO), a company based in Hsinchu, Taiwan is facing a tough time these days. The company is succumbed by a $500 million dollar fine for fixing prices of LCD screens. It is the high time for Steven Leung, an executive of AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE:AUO) Corp. To guard himself second time against the arraignment for being the main perpetrator of LCD screen price fixing connive. In San Francisco court, appellants highlighted that Steven Leung, who was the administrator of the desktop display unit, had the clout of the computer monitor panels and he was the only one who was managing Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) accounts. According to court filings, he was the main intellect of all the meetings that held from 2001 to 2006, in which prices were fixed.

In the month of March, a jury condemned the vice chairman and the senior vice president of AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE:AUO), and Jury also deadlocked all the charges against Leung. He beseeches not culpable, and known government lawyers will rehash his case.
According to Heather Tewksbury, “Leung was an AUO ‘contact window’ for the co- conspirators,” In court Tewksbury filed that “He was effective at implementing the conspiracy.”

As mentioned in Court filings, whole conspiracy was done secretly in hotel rooms, karaoke bars and other different locations in Taiwan from the year 2001-2006. It was the meetings between the executives and the contenders, to set the rates of LCD in retort to the inundate that brought the prices by 40 percent.

However, the lawyers of Leung claim that even the government key witness (who is also an employee of AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE:AUO)) has stated under oath that he is not sure whether the executives were meeting with competitors in Taiwan were to fix prices or on some other issues. Leung’s lawyers adamant that those meetings were only a way to keep a check on the market trends and acquiring price information and there is nothing wrong or illegal in this.

Since 2008, all the rivals of AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE:AUO), such as LG Display Co Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: LPL), Chung Hwa Picture Tubes LTD. (TPE: 2475), Sharp Corporation (TYO: 6753) Agreed to importune at fault and they paid more than $890 million as a penalty. The Justice Department in March charged 17 executives, in total and among these10 was found guilty and they were sentenced to prison. However, AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE:AUO) is the only company which is charged with price fixing by the U.S., and took its case for trial.

Susan Illston, U.S. District Judge, who was supervising Leung’s trial, solicited AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE:AUO) to forfeit $500 million, half the fine the Justice Department had sought. AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE:AUO) and its executives have pleaded the conviction.
Shares of AU Optronics Corp.(NYSE:AUO) up by 0.50% to close at $4.05, Shares of Dell Inc.(NASDAQ:DELL) were up by 4.14% to close at $9.94, and Shares of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) were up by 2.41% to close at $12.74.

About the Author

John is a special projects and general assignment reporter, noted for breaking several exclusive stories.

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