WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in San Francisco today returned an indictment against three former executives from two color display tube (CDT) manufacturing companies for their participation in a global conspiracy to fix prices of CDTs, a type of cathode ray tube used in computer monitors and other specialized applications, the Department of Justice announced today.
The indictment, filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charges Seung-Kyu "Simon" Lee, Yeong-Ug "Albert" Yang and Jae-Sik "J.S." Kim with conspiring with unnamed co-conspirators to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing prices, reducing output and allocating market shares of CDTs to be sold in the United States and elsewhere. Lee, Yang and Kim participated in the conspiracy during various time periods between at least as early as January 2000 and at least March 2006.
According to the indictment, Lee, Yang, Kim and co-conspirators agreed to charge prices of CDTs at certain target levels or ranges, to reduce output of CDTs by shutting down CDT production lines for certain periods of time and to allocate target market shares of CDTs. As part of the conspiracy, Lee, Yang, Kim and co-conspirators exchanged CDT sales, production, market share and pricing information for the purpose of implementing, monitoring and enforcing their agreements. The department charged that the conspirators met in Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, China and elsewhere for their discussions.
Including today’s charge, six individuals have been indicted in connection with the CDT investigation. On Feb. 10, 2009, Cheng Yuan "C.Y." Lin was indicted for his participation in both the CDT conspiracy and a price-fixing conspiracy in the color picture tube industry. On Aug. 18, 2009, Wen Jun "Tony" Cheng was indicted for his participation in the CDT conspiracy. On March 30, 2010, Chung Cheng "Alex" Yeh was indicted for his participation in the CDT conspiracy.
Lee, Yang and Kim are each charged with violating the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.
This case is part of an ongoing joint investigation by the of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI in San Francisco. Anyone with information concerning illegal or anticompetitive conduct in the cathode ray tube industry is urged to call the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Field Office at 415-436-6660 or visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm.