Sharp to pay $198.5 million in LCD price fixing lawsuit

Dell and others benefit from out of court settlement

Sharp dodges court on price fixing charges

Today, Sharp settled out of court in a case LCD price fixing to the tune of $198.5 million.

The dispute was filed against the LCD manufacturer by Dell and two other unspecified companies over Sharp's TFT business in North America and Europe.

Dell first filed the suit in 2010 against Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba, and others over LCD price fixing.

It's believed that the other two companies in today's settlement may be AT&T and Nokia, since both firms filed similar suits against Sharp in 2009.

"After broadly considering factors such as the U.S. civil lawsuit system and the facts of this case, Sharp has determined that agreeing to a settlement is the best policy," Sharp said in a statement.

The price isn't right

Price fixing isn't exactly new for Sharp, which was found guilty of LCD price fixing in a 2008 suit with Nintendo.

That suit concerned screens for Nintendo's DS and DS Lite handheld systems and saw the firm pay $3.3 million (£2.1 million) in penalties.

This time Sharp instead elected to settle the matter out of court. The settlement may have been inspired by a ruling last week in which Toshiba was found guilty of LCD price fixing, with the firm now owing $87 million(£56 million) in damages that could rise up to $261 million (£168 million).

Sharp will pay the settlement as part of its fourth quarter losses for the 2013 fiscal year ending in March 2014.