Former Exec Indicted on CDT Price-fixing Charges

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A grand jury in San Francisco has indicted a former executive of a Taiwan-based color display tube (CDT) manufacturing firm for his alleged participation in a global conspiracy to fix prices of the tubes used in computer monitors and other devices.

The indictment, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, charges Taiwan resident Chung Cheng "Alex" Yeh with conspiring with others to suppress competition in the CDT market by fixing prices and reducing output from as early as May 1999 until March 2005.

A news release from the U.S. Department of Justice did not identify the company where Yeh was former director of sales.

Yeh and other co-conspirators agreed to set prices of CDTs and shut down CDT production lines for periods of time, the DOJ said. The conspirators exchanged CDT sales, production, market share and pricing information as a way to enforce their pricing agreements, the agency alleged.

Yeh and this co-conspirators developed an auditing system that allowed them to visit each other's production facilities to verify that production lines had been shut down as agreed, the DOJ said.

Yeh is the third person indicted in connection with the CDT investigation. In February 2009, Cheng Yuan Lin, the former chairman and CEO of Chunghwa Picture Tubes, was indicted for his alleged participation in both the CDT conspiracy and a price-fixing conspiracy in the color picture tube industry.

In August, Wen Jun "Tony" Cheng, a former assistant vice president of sales and marketing at Chunghwa, was indicted for his alleged participation in the CDT conspiracy.

Yeh was charged with violating the U.S. Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims if either of those amounts is greater than the regular fine.

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