Nokia followed AT&T’s lead by filing a price-fixing lawsuit against Samsung, LG and nine other manufacturers of liquid crystal displays. The suit, which was filed last week in San Francisco, claims the LCD manufacturers colluded to inflate the price of products that were used to make the Finnish manufacturer’s phones from 1996 to at least 2006. Nokia is seeking unspecified damages as well as an injunction to bar the alleged collusion.
AT&T filed a similar suit several weeks ago against Samsung, LG and others, claiming it had purchased more than 300 million overpriced handsets due to the alleged price-fixing scheme. LG, Sharp and Chunghwa Picture Tubes last year agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $585 million in fines following a price-fixing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Apple, Dell and Motorola were among the companies affected by the collusion, antitrust regulators said at the time. And the European Commission several months ago began investigating the LCD market for suspected antitrust violations. So don’t be surprised if others follow AT&T and Nokia with price-fixing lawsuits of their own.