A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted a former executive of Taiwanese CDT (color display tube) manufacturing firm Chunghwa Picture Tubes on charges that he participated in a global conspiracy to fix CDT prices, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
The indictment, filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, charges Wen Jun "Tony" Cheng, a former assistant vice president of sales and marketing at Chunghwa, with conspiring with others to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing prices, reducing manufacturing output and allocating market shares for CDTs. The DOJ alleges that Cheng participated in the conspiracy from as early as January 1999 until at least September 2004.
The indictment does not identify Cheng as working for Chunghwa, instead referring to him working at "Company A." However, in other court documents, Cheng is identified as a former Chunghwa executive. Cheng was previously indicted on Feb. 3 for his alleged participation in a global conspiracy to fix prices of TFT-LCD (thin film transistor-liquid crystal display) panels.
The indictment alleges that Cheng and co-conspirators from other CDT vendors carried out the conspiracy by attending meetings and engaging in conversations and communications in Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, China and elsewhere to discuss and agree on the prices, output and market shares of CDTs. The DOJ alleged that Cheng and co-conspirators also implemented an auditing system to verify that production lines had been shut down as agreed, and took steps to conceal the conspiracy.
Cheng is charged with violating the U.S. Sherman Act, governing antitrust activities. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, but may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims if either or those amounts is greater than the Sherman Act maximum fines.