By Zhu Shenshen | 2013-1-4 | ONLINE EDITION
CHINA has punished six LCD panel makers, including Samsung and LG, for manipulating domestic prices and asked them to pay a total of 353 million yuan (US$56.9 million) in fines, the National Development and Reform Commission said yesterday.
The commission also said the product warranty period for LCD TVs sold on the mainland has been extended from 18 months to 36 months starting this year.
Liquid crystal display or LCD is widely used in television, computer and mobile devices. The cost of a LCD panel accounts for 70 to 80 percent of the price of a television set.
From 2001 to 2006, Samsung, LG, AUO, Chimei and two other Taiwan companies held 53 pricing meetings in South Korea, leading to higher costs for Chinese television makers and market disorder, the commission said on its website.
"It's an obvious act of price fixing and exploiting their market positions to make unreasonable profit," said the commission in a statement.
Samsung, LG, AUO and Chimei are currently the world's largest LCD panel makers. Through price-fixing, the companies sold 5.1 million panels in China, mostly from LG and Chimei, totaling 208 million yuan in revenue, according to the commission.
The six companies have been ordered to compensate the Chinese television makers with 170 million yuan in addition to 144 million yuan in fines and 36.7 million yuan in confiscations, the commission said.