WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in San Francisco today returned an indictment against a former executive of a large Taiwan-based color display tube (CDT) manufacturing company for his 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.
The indictment, filed today in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charges Chung Cheng (Alex) Yeh, a resident of Taiwan, with conspiring with unnamed co-conspirators to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing prices, reducing output, and allocating market shares of CDTs beginning at least as early as May 1999, until at least March 2005.
According to the charges, Alex Yeh, a former director of sales, and co-conspirators agreed to charge prices of CDTs at certain target levels or ranges and to reduce output of CDTs by shutting down CDT production lines for certain periods of time. The indictment alleges that Yeh and co-conspirators also agreed to allocate target market shares for the CDT market overall and for certain CDT customers. The conspirators are alleged to have exchanged CDT sales, production, market share and pricing information for the purpose of implementing, monitoring and enforcing their agreements. According to the indictment, Yeh and co-conspirators implemented an auditing system that permitted co-conspirators to visit each other’s production facilities to verify that CDT production lines had been shut down as agreed.
Yeh is the third individual to be 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.
Yeh is 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 maximum fine.
This case is part of an ongoing joint investigation by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI in San Francisco. Anyone with information concerning illegal conduct in the cathode ray tube industry is urged to call the San Francisco Field Office of the Antitrust Division at 415-436-6660 or visit http://www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm.