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More Dealers Suing Panel Makers

Brooklyn, N.Y. – P.C. Richard &
Son, ABC Warehouse and the MARTA Cooperative of America are the latest
merchants to file suit against 15 LCD manufacturers and their subsidiaries
for price fixing.

The newest complaint, filed jointly
by the two regional CE and majap chains 
and the Arizona-based buying group, seeks damages from Epson, Hitachi,
LG, NEC, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba and other suppliers for forming an
international cartel that conspired to “fix, raise, stabilize and maintain”
panel prices between 1996 and 2006.

Other defendants include Au
Optronics, Chi Mei, CMO, Chunghwa, Hannstar, Mitsui and Tatung, which together affected
billions of dollars of U.S. commerce during the 10-year period, the retailers

The claim, filed June 16 in a U.S.
district court in Brooklyn, follows class-action and individual suits by
retailers including Best Buy and more recently


, which are based on recent price-fixing prosecutions by the U.S.
Justice Department. The agency has obtained more than $890 million in fines from
eight of the LCD producers, and nine cartel executives including the CEO of
Chungwha and the president of Chi Mei received prison terms of up to 14 months.

The plaintiffs have requested a jury
trial in which they will seek to recover damages, court documents show.