The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) will soon launch a website for consumers to file claims for their share of the $63 million LCD recovery. In the meantime, the AGO cautions consumers that a third-party agent has set up a website to file claims on behalf of consumers, but will charge one-third of the recovery money to do so. When the AGO claims website goes live, consumers can file their own claims for free.
The third-party agent is Financial Recovery Services (FRS). According to its authorization terms, “FRS shall determine based on the information provided by the client if he or she is eligible, and based on that determination will prepare and submit the client’s claim.” In addition, “for managing the claim client agrees to pay FRS 33% of each claim received.”
The FRS website is not to be mistaken for the official Attorney General LCD claims website, which has not yet been launched.
From 1998–2006, consumers in Washington and throughout the world were significantly overcharged every time they bought a product with a liquid crystal display, or LCD, screen because of a conspiracy by the world’s largest LCD manufacturers. For some products, this scheme may have increased the price consumers paid by as much as 20 percent.
In May of 2015 the AGO recovered over $63 million from the nine LCD manufacturers, whose price-fixing conspiracy drove up prices consumers paid on items like TVs, laptops and cell phones. The bulk of the money recovered will be returned to consumers who purchased products containing LCDs.
The manufacturers include:
- AU Optronics;
- Chi Mei Optoelectronics;
- Chunghwa Picture Tubes;
- LG Display;
- Sharp; and
The LCD agreement is one of the largest recoveries for Washington by the Attorney General’s Antitrust Division in state history.