AU Optronics Corp executive Shiu Lung Leung was sentenced yesterday in California to two years imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 for his involvement in a criminal conspiracy to fix the prices of liquid crystal displays used in computer screens and televisions.
This sentence followed Leung’s conviction by a federal jury in December 2012 and brings to 13 the number of executives from various companies found guilty of this price-fixing conspiracy.
Leung faced a potential sentence of 10 years imprisonment yet following a contested trial his sentence is less than that agreed by corporate executives in other cartels that have pleaded guilty. This may set a new benchmark for such plea negotiations in the US in future.
To date eight companies involved in this cartel have been sentenced to pay criminal fines totalling more than $US1.39 billion.
Japan’s Yazaki Corporation, the world’s 13th largest global auto parts supplier, has been has fined C$30 million in Canada. The investigation by the Canadian Competition Bureau into the auto parts industry is the largest ever undertaken by Canadian authorities and this fine is the largest ever ordered by a Canadian Court.
This record fine by the Canadian authorities dwarfs a fine of $470m imposed against Yazaki in March last year by the US Department of Justice following a guilty plea to cartel conduct over a ten year period.
The Canadian fine was reduced as a consequence of Yazaki participating in the Bureau’s Leniency Program and providing substantial assistance to the Bureau and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.