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AU Optronics to appeal US price-fixing verdict
by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) March 15, 2012

Taiwan's AU Optronics (AUO) will appeal a guilty verdict in the United States for price-fixing, its chairman was quoted as saying Thursday.

The LCD maker along with a Texas-based subsidiary and two former top executives were convicted Tuesday on conspiracy charges after a trial in federal court in San Francisco, according to the US Department of Justice.

The charges carry maximum punishments of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for an individual or a fine of as much as $1 billion for a corporation.

The companies, along with one-time president Hsuan Bin Chen and former executive vice president Hui Hsiung took part in a scheme to rig prices of thin-film transistor-liquid crystal (TFT-LCD) display panels from late 2001 to December in 2006, according to the justice department.

"AUO will continue to appeal," AUO chairman Lee Kuen-yao was quoted as saying in various newspapers, insisting that his company did not participate in any price fixing agreement.

"The outcome was not completely satisfying but we had some results," he told reporters, referring to the acquittals and a mistrial of three executives implicated in the case.

The convictions were part of an ongoing investigation that had already resulted in guilty pleas from seven other companies accused of taking part in the conspiracy.

Seventeen executives have been criminally charged, with 10 of them pleading guilty in deals negotiated with prosecutors, according to the US justice department.

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