News

Samsung to pay $29M for price-fixing scheme affecting millions of Washingtonians

SEATTLE, Wash. - Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced that Samsung, a multinational electronics company, will pay $29 million as part of the Attorney General’s price-fixing lawsuit against seven manufacturers of cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, a technology once ubiquitous in television screens and computer monitors.

Under the consent decree, filed in King County Superior Court, Samsung will pay $29 million to resolve the Attorney General’s price-fixing claims. This concludes the Attorney General’s CRT price-fixing lawsuit. The seven companies involved in the conspiracy are paying Washington a total of $39.65 million.

Ferguson will distribute the bulk of the money through a claims process for Washington consumers and state agencies that purchased CRTs during the conspiracy period.

The lawsuit alleges Samsung and other CRT manufacturers, including LG, Panasonic, Hitachi, Chungwha, Toshiba and Philips, engaged in a price-fixing scheme to drive up the cost of CRTs from 1995 to 2007. During those 12 years, the price-fixing conspiracy caused millions of Washington consumers to be overcharged for their CRT televisions and computer monitors.

“When powerful interests illegally conspire behind closed doors to drive up the cost of their products, Washingtonians lose out,” Ferguson said. “We are returning the money back where it belongs: the pockets of Washingtonians.”
 
All consumers who lived in Washington during the conspiracy period from 1995 to 2007 and purchased a CRT screen from a retailer may be eligible for a refund. Businesses headquartered in Washington during the conspiracy period may also be eligible.

The amount consumers and businesses could expect to receive will vary depending on the products purchased. The maximum is $20 per CRT monitor and $6 per CRT television, based on the amount the state asserts consumers were overcharged for each CRT device.

Ferguson expects to hire a claims administrator within the next several months, who will begin distributing funds in early 2019. All claims filed before then will be forwarded to the claims administrator, who may contact consumers for additional information.

Claims process

To file a claim, eligible consumers must fill out a claims form and send it in via email or mail. Claims forms are available online or by calling 206-332-7080. Completed forms must be sent to crtclaims@atg.wa.gov or mailed to:
 
CRT Washington Claims
C/O Antitrust Division
Washington State Office of the Attorney General
800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98104

Consumers are not required to submit documentation when they file a claim. However, they may be asked to verify their claim during the claims audit process, especially for claims involving a significant number of purchases. This will happen later in the process, and not at the initial filing.

Consumers who do not have a current Washington address will be required to provide the Washington address where they lived at the time they bought the CRT products.

For questions about the claims process, please read these frequently asked questions, email crtclaims@atg.wa.gov or call 206-332-7080.


LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS

THIS WEEK'S CIRCULARS