The $1.39 billion in criminal fines won in court make the LCD screen price fixing case the largest criminal antitrust case ever prosecuted by the DOJ, surpassing the breakup of a vitamin cartel in the late 1990's that netted $875 million in criminal fines.
To date, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.'s $500 million fine for participating in the vitamin price-fixing scheme remains the largest antitrust fine. The DOJ's annual collection of antitrust criminal fines only topped $1 billion once in the past 10 years, according to a report compiled by the law firm Gibson Dunn.
A jury found AU Optronics, Chen, its former president, and former executive vice president Hsiung guilty and acquitted two others. The jury couldn't agree on a verdict for a fifth executive, and prosecutors dropped charges. Chen remains a vice chairman of the company's Board of Directors. Both men were allowed to go free and ordered to report to prison on Dec. 20
AU Optronics refused to plea bargain with the DOJ, becoming the only company to go to trial.