Frequently Asked Questions

BASIC INFORMATION

1. What is this litigation about?

The class action lawsuit included direct purchasers of thin film transistor liquid crystal display ("TFT-LCD") panels and certain products containing those panels. A direct purchaser is a person or business who bought a TFT-LCD panel, or a television, computer monitor or notebook computer containing a TFT-LCD panel, directly from one or more of the Defendants, Co-Conspirators, affiliates or subsidiaries themselves, as opposed to an intermediary (such as a retail store). The lawsuit alleged that Defendants and Co-Conspirators conspired to raise and fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels, resulting in overcharges to purchasers of those panels and products containing those panels. The complaint alleged that the Defendants and Co-Conspirators violated the U.S. antitrust laws by establishing a global cartel that set artificially high prices for, and restricted the supply of, various sizes of TFT-LCD panels. Defendants denied Plaintiffs’ allegations. All settlements have been finally approved by the Court.

An order approving distribution of the settlement funds to Direct Purchaser class members was approved by the Court on July 12, 2013.

An order approving a second and final distribution of the settlement funds to Direct Purchaser class members was approved by the Court on January 13, 2014.

Checks have been mailed to eligible Class Members as stated below, and the claims process will be completed by approximately Spring 2014.

2. Which TFT-LCD manufacturers are part of this litigation?

The Defendant companies, and the companies alleged by Plaintiffs to be subsidiaries and affiliates of the Defendant companies, are: Acer Display Technology, Inc., AU Optronics Corporation, AU Optronics Corporation America, Chi Mei Corporation, Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corporation, Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc. (formerly known as International Display Technology U.S.A., Inc.), Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd., CMO Japan Co., Ltd. (formerly known as International Display Technology Ltd.), Epson Electronics America, Inc., Epson Imaging Devices Corporation, Fujitsu Limited, Hannspree Inc., HannStar Display Corporation, Hitachi Displays, Ltd., Hitachi Electronic Devices (USA), Inc., Hitachi, Ltd., International Business Machines Corporation, LG Display America, Inc., LG Display Co., Ltd., LG Electronics, Inc., LG Electronics USA, Inc., Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (also known as Royal Philips Electronics), Mitsui & Co. (Taiwan), Ltd., Nexgen Mediatech, Inc., Nexgen Mediatech USA, Inc., Philips Consumer Electronics, Philips Electronics North America, Quanta Display Inc., S-LCD, Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., Ltd., Sanyo Consumer Electronics Co., Ltd., Sharp Corporation, Sharp Electronics Corporation, Tatung Company of America, Inc., Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba Mobile Display Co., Ltd., and Unipac Optoelectronics Corporation.

The Plaintiffs alleged that the following companies are Co-Conspirators: Hydis Technologies Co., Ltd., IPS Alpha Technology, Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., NEC LCD Technologies, Ltd., Panasonic Corporation (formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.), Panasonic Corporation of North America (formerly known as Matsushita Electric Corporation of America), Sanyo Electric Company, Ltd., Sanyo North America Corporation and Seiko Epson Corporation.

3. What is a TFT-LCD?

A TFT-LCD is a display technology used in flat panel televisions as well as in computer monitors, notebook computers, mobile phones, personal digital assistants, and other devices.

4. Why is this a class action?

In a class action, one or more people and/or companies, called class representatives, sue on behalf of people and companies who have similar claims. Together, they make up a class.

5. If I purchased a TFT-LCD product indirectly am I a member of the Direct Purchaser Classes?

No, if you purchased a TFT-LCD product indirectly, meaning you made a purchase through a retailer, wholesaler, or distributor who is not one of the Defendants, you are not part of the classes for this settlement. However, you may be part of the Indirect Purchaser class. Please CLICK HERE to visit the LCD INDIRECT PURCHASER LITIGATION AND SETTLEMENTS website for more information.

THE LITIGATION CLASSES

6. How do I know if I am part of the Litigation Classes?

The Court certified the following Litigation Classes for purposes of litigation and trial:

Panel Class: All persons and entities who, between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2006, directly purchased a TFT-LCD panel in the United States from any defendant or any subsidiary thereof, or any named affiliate or any named co-conspirator.

You are part of the Panel Class if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You purchased a TFT-LCD panel as a stand-alone item – not incorporated into another product;
  • You purchased the TFT-LCD panel in the United States. This means the panel was billed to and/or shipped to the United States;
  • You purchased the TFT-LCD panel from one of the companies listed in Question 2. This means that you did not purchase the TFT-LCD panel from a retailer, wholesaler or distributor who was not one of the companies listed in Question 2; and
  • You purchased the TFT-LCD panel between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2006.

Product Class: All persons and entities who, between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2006, directly purchased a television, computer monitor or notebook computer in the United States containing a TFT-LCD panel, from any defendant or any subsidiary thereof, or any named affiliate or any named co-conspirator.

You are part of the Product Class if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You purchased a television, computer monitor or notebook computer containing a TFT-LCD panel;
  • You purchased the television, computer monitor or notebook computer in the United States. This means the product was billed to or shipped to the United States;
  • You purchased the television, computer monitor or notebook computer directly from one of the companies listed in Question 2. This means that you did not purchase the television, computer monitor or notebook computer from a retailer, wholesaler or distributor who was not one of the companies listed in Question 2; and
  • You purchased the television, computer monitor or notebook computer between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2006.

You may be a member of one or both of the two classes (see Question 7). Similarly, you may also be a member of the indirect purchaser classes that have also been certified by the Court. An indirect purchaser is someone who purchased a TFT-LCD panel or product containing a TFT-LCD panel through an intermediary such as a distributor, wholesaler or retailer that is not specifically named in the response to Question 2. However, you may not submit claims in both this case and in the indirect purchaser case for the same purchase(s). Please CLICK HERE to visit the LCD INDIRECT PURCHASER LITIGATION AND SETTLEMENTS website for more information. The deadline to file a claim for direct purchases has passed and the Settlement Funds have been distributed as described below.

7. Can I be in more than one class?

Yes. You are allowed to be in more than one class. The two Classes are similar in that they include individuals and entities that directly purchased TFT-LCD panels and/or certain products containing those panels from one or more Defendants. Use this chart to help determine which class you may be a part of:

Class Date of Purchase Product Purchased
Panel Class January 1, 1999 – December 31, 2006 TFT-LCD panel
Product Class January 1, 1999 – December 31, 2006 Television containing TFT-LCD panel; computer monitor containing TFT-LCD panel; notebook computer containing TFT-LCD panel

8. Are there exceptions to Class membership?

Yes. You are not included in the Classes if you are:

  • a Defendant, subsidiary, affiliate or Co-Conspirator named in the response to Question 2 above;
  • an officer, director or employee of a Defendant in this action;
  • the parent company of a Defendant in this action;
  • the legal representative, heirs or assigns of any Defendant in this action;
  • a federal, state or local governmental entity;
  • a judge assigned to this action or a member of the staff or immediate family of a judge assigned to this action;
  • a juror assigned to this action; or
  • a direct purchaser who previously filed a timely request for exclusion.

9. What are my rights as part of the Litigation Classes?

You were previously given an opportunity to exclude yourself or file a claim by April 5, 2012. You were also allowed an opportunity to comment or object to the proposed settlements. All settlements have now been finally approved and the time to exclude yourself, comment or file a claim has passed.

10. When and where will the Court decide to approve the settlements?

All settlements have been approved.

11. What did the settlements provide?

The Settlement Fund was over $317 million. From that amount certain administrative fees and costs, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs, were deducted and the resulting Net Settlement Fund was distributed to the Class. The court also authorized the withholding of 18% of the Net Settlement Fund from the first distribution on all claims where the award amount was greater than $10,000 to account for issues with disputed and untimely claims. These issues have been resolved and the Court has approved a motion to distribute the remaining funds. For more details you may review the Order Approving Second Distribution of Settlement Funds to the Direct Purchaser Class Members on the Court Documents page of this website.

12. How was the Net Settlement Fund allocated?

The distribution of the Net Settlement Fund was based on the value of the finished product or panel and on the number of valid claims that were filed. The plan of allocation divided the Net Settlement Fund in half, with 50% distributed to members of the Panel Class and 50% distributed to members of the Product Class. For each TFT-LCD finished product (monitors, notebook computers, televisions and other products), claimants were paid based on the value of the panel in the finished product. The percentages of panel value in a finished product were 75% for monitors, 15% for notebook computers, 47% for televisions, and 7.6% for other products.

13. When will I receive a payment?

Payments for the second distribution were mailed on DATE.

14. I need my check reissued. What do I do?

If you would like to have your check reissued, you will need to send a letter to the Claims Administrator explaining why the check needs to be reissued and to whom it should be reissued. Please also include the original check if you have it. Note, no checks from the second distribution will be reissued past DATE. Pursuant to the Court order approving the second distribution, funds from checks that are not cashed within 28 days of the initial issuance will revert to the Net Settlement Fund and may be distributed as a cy pres distribution to one of more charitable organizations that bear a substantial nexus to the interests of the class members, subject to Court approval.

15. I think that I am entitled to a check and I have not received one. What do I do?

Please contact a Call Center Representative at 1-877-888-3757.

16. Do I have to pay taxes on this?

We cannot offer any tax advice. Please speak with an accounting professional.

17. Is it too late to file a claim?

Yes.