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US seeks $1.23b, prison for Taiwan execs in LCD case

Published on Sep 13, 2012 8:18 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Prosecutors asked for a US$1 billion (S$1.23 billion) fine for Taiwan's AU Optronics and prison terms of 10 years for two top executives in the "most serious price-fixing" case in United States (US) history, court documents showed on Wednesday.

According to a US government sentencing recommendation filed in federal court, "only these sentences could possibly reflect the seriousness of this offense or provide adequate deterrence". The US Justice Department asked for the massive fine to be levied against Taiwan's largest maker of displays for computers, smartphones and other gadgets, for its conviction in a price-fixing scheme for liquid crystal display (LCD) display panels.

It also called for top company executives H.B. Chen and Hui Hsiung to serve 10 years in prison and pay US$1 million fines.

"These defendants and AUO's subsidiary, AU Optronics Corporation America were central figures in the most serious price-fixing cartel ever prosecuted by the US," the statement said.

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