LCD makers accused of price fixing again

Dell has accused five Asian LCD manufacturers of price fixing, and has filed a suit in the Northern California District Court.

The suit accuses Hitachi,  Sharp, Toshiba, HannStar and Seiko of keeping prices artificially high. It hasn’t specified what damages it’s after.

But according to the Wall Street Journal,  the suit refers to “billions of dollars of purchases, and claims that Dell’s been being overcharged for fourteen years.

Dell’s just the latest company to get a bit stroppy about LCD pricing: late last year, AT&T and Nokia, both of which use LCD screens in cellphones, accused LG, Samsung and AU Electronics of the the same thing.

And earlier in the year, Hitachi, Sharp, LG and others pleaded guilty to similar charges – presumably Dell thinks they still haven’t learned their lesson even now.

Dell is calling for a jury trial – and juries are often rather generous when it comes to awarding damages. It’s likely the companies will prefer to settle out of court.