Ten leading electronics manufacturers have settled lawsuits involving an illegal conspiracy to raise prices for the LCD flat panel screens built for televisions, monitors, and laptop computers. The class action settlements total approximately $1.1 billion and provide cash back to consumers and businesses that bought widely-used LCD (thin-film transistor liquid crystal display) screens.
The manufacturers named as defendants include Espon, Samsung, Hitachi, LG, Toshiba, and Sharp.
Eligible consumers will be able to collect $25, $100, $200 or more by answering a few simple questions about the number of LCD flat screen TVs, monitors, and laptops they bought from 1999 to 2006. The exact amount of each payment will depend upon the number of products purchased and the number of claims filed.
Cash is available to consumers and businesses in the District of Columbia and the following 24 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Consumers have until December 6, 2012 to file a claim. Claims can be filed online.
According to the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, the $1.1 billion settlement is the largest antitrust all-cash class action recovery ever obtained for consumers, who bought these electronic products indirectly from retailers and resellers, and not directly from the original manufacturer of the LCD flat panel screens.