Sharp and LG Display to plead guilty to price fixing

WASHINGTON Tue Dec 9, 2008 4:34pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - LG Display Co Ltd (034220.KS) and Sharp Corp (6753.T) will plead guilty in mid-December to price fixing in the market for thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.

LG Display, which agreed to pay $400 million in fines, will be sentenced on December 15, while Sharp, which will pay $120 million in fines, will be sentenced on December 16, according to a court filing distributed by the Justice Department.

Sentencing was scheduled for the U.S. district court in San Francisco.

Liquid crystal displays are used in a wide variety of electronics because they weigh less and use less power than older television and computer screens. They are also used in iPods, cell phones, digital watches and calculators.

LG Display, Sharp and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (2475.TW) were cooperating with U.S. authorities, the Justice Department said last month.

European and Asian antitrust authorities were also looking at the LCD market.

The Justice Department's Antitrust Division has a leniency program that allows companies involved in price fixing to receive lesser fines if they are among the first companies involved in any conspiracy to turn themselves in.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Andre Grenon)

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