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From Antitrust Law Daily, April 29, 2013

Former AU Optronics Executive Convicted in Retrial Is Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison, Ordered to Pay Fine

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

A former senior manager in the Desktop Display Business Group of liquid crystal display (LCD) producer AU Optronics Corporation was sentenced today for his role in a conspiracy to fix prices for thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels. The executive, Shiu Lung Leung, was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison and to pay a $50,000 criminal fine, the Department of Justice announced (U.S. v. Leung, Criminal No. 09-0110(SI)).

Leung was found guilty by a jury in the federal district court in San Francisco in December 2012. The guilty verdict came at the end of a three-week retrial, which was precipitated by an earlier mistrial.

After an eight-week trial, in March 2012, Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corporation and its American subsidiary, AU Optronics Corp. America, were found guilty of conspiring to fix prices. AU Optronics Corporation’s former president and former executive vice president also were found guilty at that time. Two other AU Optronics Corporation employees were found not guilty. A mistrial was declared only with respect to Leung.

Both Hsuan Bin Chen and Hui Hsiung were sentenced to serve three years in prison and to each pay a $200,000 criminal fine. The defendants convicted in the first trial have appealed their convictions and sentences to the Ninth Circuit.

"These international price-fixers caused consumers to pay inflated prices for their computer monitors, notebook computers and televisions," said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, in announcing the sentence. "Prison sentences for culpable executives, combined with substantial fines against corporate wrongdoers, are the most effective deterrents for protecting consumers from this kind of illegal cartel behavior."

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