Three Asian electronics firms have admitted to fixing the prices on their LCD panels between 2001 and 2006. As covered on CNet and in the New York Times, LG Display, Sharp (maker of the “LCD paper” device pictured at left), and Chunghwa Picture Tubes will plead guilty, pay a total of $585 million in fines, and cooperate in a Justice Department antitrust investigation.

Though neither of the articles directly mentions e-book readers, they do note that the price-fixing affected millions of consumers, driving up prices on a number of popular electronic devices including the Motorola RAZR cellphone and Apple’s iPods.

It has long been known that LCDs are the most expensive component of PDAs and similar devices. But given that the pricefixing in question apparently ended in 2006, it is unknown what if any effect this will have on present or future LCD-containing devices such as the iPod Touch.

(Found via Slashdot.)

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TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.


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