The Civil Shoe Drops

It should come as little surprise that a retailer has sued 15 LCD panel makers for losses due to price fixing. The first one to file is BrandsMart, a Florida-based electronics retailer. The list of defendants includes Samsumg, LG, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Epson, and NEC, along with other major companies in the display manufacturing business. BrandsMart is not just claiming damages on HDTVs, either; just about anything with an LCD panel is included in the lawsuit.

The reason that this case should be a bit of a slam-dunk is that many of these companies have already pled guilty to federal charges. The U.S. Justice Department has levied more than $890 million in criminal fines, and some manufacturer executives have been sentenced to jail time of more than a year.

I am not a lawyer, but I don’t see where the defense can hide on this one.