Who see's this money then?
Will any be given to consumers who've been forced to pay over the odds?
Seven LCD screen makers have joined together to offer $US553 million to settle charges that the screen industry has acted as a price-fixing cartel. The case has dragged on since 2006, when authorities in Japan, Korea, the EU and the USA first began investigating the LCD industry for anti-competitive conduct. So far, Reuters …
I seem to remember that a company found guilty of anticompetitive practices can be fined a significantly higher amount if they are later found guilty of doing it again - I would speculate they are managing their future risk by 'buying' and end to the investigation that won't move them up the fine scale. Anyone with a better knowledge of cartel law care to elaborate?
"The bulk of the latest payment is made up in payments to “indirect” purchasers – that is, customers of finished products like TVs and computers using the screens, rather than the OEMs that were the cartel’s direct customers."
...........I think that the report does make it clear that the end-point customers *will* be compensated - as they should be given that they have almost certainly lost more (collectively) than the OEMs did.
it isn't clear to me that will actually happen. When you and I see that statement we think "Joe Blokums who overpaid $40 for his 16" LCD is getting can get a check from X in compensation for overpaying." And if that's the case, yes justice will have been done. But, it could also be a case of X will send Joe a rebate coupon for $60 on his next purchase. It still gets recorded by X as payment of the penalty, but I expect you and I would agree that justice hasn't been done in that case.
Remember, the attorney's general arguing the case don't really give a shit about how the money is paid, just as long as the number is big enough to get them decent PR; what they really care about is the bit where the companies setup internal processes and departments to prevent it from happening in the future. Or, translated into plain English, the lawyers for the government now have a permanent seat at the decision making table of the companies.
"Remember, the attorney's general arguing the case don't really give a shit about how the money is paid, just as long as the number is big enough to get them decent PR; what they really care about is the bit where the companies setup internal processes and departments to prevent it from happening in the future."
No, I think the AG interest stops at the PR numbers.
The AG's BOSSES want the seat at the decision making table. At least, that seems to be how it's going in the US.
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I worked in the PC industry for 15 years and high volume commodity items are typically sold at 30% margin. Actual profit is much less because the 30% has to cover fixed overheads like sales, distribution, R&D and other costs. Everybody's goal is to "do an Apple" and get to 67% margin / 200% mark-up, but it's very hard to do.
to the final delivery there is a 200% markup. Which doesn't mean I disagree with your post. Every time an item passes through an entity, they need to make a 30-50% margin to get a 7-20% profit. But if you pass that through a couple of organizations, you quickly have a 200% margin compared to the cost of base components at the original point of manufacturing. My father frequently makes the point that the cost of the ingredients for a loaf of bread is about $0.05 US, while the store brand breads sell for $1.19 and the brand names sell for $3.79. Yet everyone knows grocery stores and food distribution chains have some of the lowest margins and profits of all US markets.
Toshiba has received 10 potential offers for the company, eight of which would take the company private, while two would allow it to remain publicly listed, according to reports.
Toshiba shares are said to have risen as much as 6.5 percent following the news, with some estimates valuing the deals at up to $22 billion.
The Japanese conglomerate announced in April that it was considering proposals to take the company private following numerous scandals and pressure from investor groups.
Toshiba has appointed two directors from activist hedge funds to its board in a move that could tip the balance in favor of a sale that would take the company into private ownership.
Shareholders of the Japanese conglomerate voted their support for all 13 director nominations recommended by the company during the annual general meeting of shareholders held on June 28 in Tokyo.
This included two directors from hedge fund investment companies, a contentious move that led to the resignation of external director Mariko Watahiki, a former high court judge, who reportedly objected to their appointment on the grounds that it skewed the membership of the board towards activist investors.
Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission has fined Samsung Electronics AU$14 million ($9.6 million) for making for misleading water resistance claims about 3.1 million smartphones.
The Commission (ACCC) says that between 2016 and 2018 Samsung advertised its Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, A5, A7, S8, S8 Plus and Note 8 smartphones as capable of surviving short submersions in the sea or fresh water.
As it happens The Register attended the Australian launch of the Note 8 and watched on in wonder as it survived a brief dunking and bubbles appeared to emerge from within the device. Your correspondent recalls Samsung claiming that the waterproofing reflected the aim of designing a phone that could handle Australia's outdoors lifestyle.
Samsung has once again been accused of cheating in benchmark tests to inflate the apparent abilities of its hardware.
This time Samsung has allegedly fudged the results for its televisions, specifically the S95B QD-OLED and QN95B Neo OLED LCD TVs.
The demand for consumer electronics has slowed down in the face of inflation – but that didn't stop nine of the world's 10 largest contract chip manufacturers from growing in the first three months of the year.
That's according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, which said on Monday the collective revenues for the top 10 chip foundries grew 8.2 percent to $31.96 billion in the first quarter of 2022 from the previous quarter. That's a hair slower than the 8.3 percent quarterly growth reported for the top-ten foundries in the fourth quarter of last year.
On a broader level, TrendForce said this revenue growth came from a mix of "robust wafer production" and foundries continuing to raise the prices of wafers as a result of high demand.
In yet another sign of how fortunes have changed in the semiconductor industry, Taiwanese foundry giant TSMC is expected to surpass Intel in quarterly revenue for the first time.
Wall Street analysts estimate TSMC will grow second-quarter revenue 43 percent quarter-over-quarter to $18.1 billion. Intel, on the other hand, is expected to see sales decline 2 percent sequentially to $17.98 billion in the same period, according to estimates collected by Yahoo Finance.
The potential for TSMC to surpass Intel in quarterly revenue is indicative of how demand has grown for contract chip manufacturing, fueled by companies like Qualcomm, Nvidia, AMD, and Apple who design their own chips and outsource manufacturing to foundries like TSMC.
Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong is said to be courting Dutch chipmaker NXP on a visit to Europe to bolster the company's position in the automotive semiconductor market.
According to the Asian Tech Press, Jae-yong, who has been released on probation after serving time on corruption charges, is expected to visit several chipmakers and semiconductor manufacturing vendors including the Netherland's NXP and ASML, as well as Germany's Infineon. Press became aware of Jae-yong's plans after a Seoul Central District Court approved the vice chairman's travel plans.
NXP offers a wide array of microprocessors, power management, and wireless chips for automotive, communications, and industrial applications. However, the Asian Tech Press said Samsung's interest in the company, which is valued at approximately $56 billion, is primarily rooted in the company's automotive silicon.
Microsoft and Samsung have teamed to stream Xbox games on the Korean giant's smart televisions and monitors.
Samsung has offered streaming games since early 2022, taking advantage of its smart displays running the Linux-based Tizen OS. The "gaming hub" installed on those devices can already deliver games from Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now.
Xbox is a rather larger brand, making this deal considerably more significant.
Disgraced tech giant Toshiba has revealed it has received ten buyout proposals, and devised a plan to grow its digital businesses.
"As of today, the Company has received eight initial proposals for privatization, as well as two initial proposals for a strategic capital and business alliance with the Company remaining listed from Potential Partners," the Japanese conglomerate stated in a canned statement [PDF] dated June 2.
Toshiba didn't say who submitted the buyout proposals, but Bain Capital is known to have expressed an interest. Reports have indicated CVC Capital Partners and KKR might be in the running too. It's worth noting that CVC has sought this opportunity before.
The global economy may be in a tenuous situation right now, but the semiconductor industry is likely to walk away from 2022 with a "healthy" boost in revenues, according to analysts at IDC. But beware oversupply, the analyst firm warns.
Semiconductor companies across the world are expected to grow collective revenues by 13.7 percent year-on-year to $661 billion, IDC said in research published Wednesday. Global semiconductor revenue last year was $582 billion.
"Overall, the semiconductor industry remains on track to deliver another healthy year of growth as the super cycle that began in 2020 continues this year," said Mario Morales, IDC group vice president of semiconductors.
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