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26 Oct 2011

Antitrust Team Obtains Full Exemption from Sanctions for Samsung Electronics in TFT-LCD Global Cartel Investigation

In a proceeding before the Korea Fair Trade Commission, Yulchon represented Samsung Electronics and obtained on its behalf a full exemption from administrative fines and corrective measures.

In the proceeding, the KFTC brought price-fixing charges against Samsung Electronics as well as a number of Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers of thin film transistor (TFT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. After an extensive investigation that began in 2006, the ten alleged conspirators (Samsung Electronics, LG Display, AUO, CPT, CMO, and Hannastar, among others) were assessed administrative fines totaling KRW 194 billion (approx. USD 180 million). The administrative fines were the largest ever assessed by the KFTC in an international cartel case. Samsung Electronics, the global market leader in TFT-LCD panels, was the only alleged conspirator to be granted a full exemption from sanctions in the case.

The KFTC proceeding was the third such proceeding opened by an antitrust enforcement agency against members of the alleged TFT-LCD price-fixing conspiracy. In 2009 and 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission imposed fines on those companies.

The case was supervised by partner Sai Ree Yun and senior foreign counsel Seuk Joon Lee, and was handled by partner Sung Wook Eun and associates Seung Jae Lee, Yu Mi Choi, and Tae Yong Kim.

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