OLYMPIA — A consent decree recently filed in King County Superior Court requires Philips electronics company to pay $7 million as part of a price fixing lawsuit filed by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson against Philips and other cathode ray tubes (CRTs) manufacturers which affected millions of Washingtonians.
The Attorney General's Office announced the settlement of the lawsuit, which alleges Philips and the other CRTs manufacturers, including LG, Panasonic, Hitachi, Chungwha, Toshiba and Samsung drove up the cost of CRTs during a 12-year period as part of a price fixing scheme, affecting millions of Washingtonians.
“Because of this conspiracy, Washington consumers overpaid for televisions and computer monitors without knowing it,” Ferguson said in a statement. “We are returning the money back where it belongs, the pockets of Washingtonians.”
According to the attorney general's lawsuit, the companies named "split their glass meetings into three tiers" in which Philips attended all three levels. This allowed the companies to keep CRT prices high even as the LCD screens were first brought into the market.
Samsung's lawsuit is still ongoing, according to the attorney general's office as LG agreed to pay $1.5 million, Toshiba $1.3 million, Panasonic $275,000 and Chunghwa, $125,000.