Antitrust Claims to Cost Samsung $33 Million

     (CN) - Samsung can pay $33 million to settle claims that it participated in a global conspiracy to fix prices on cathode-ray tubes, a federal judge ruled.
     Cathode-ray tubes, or CRTs, are vacuum tubes that shoot rays onto screens to form images. They became obsolete as new technology paved the way for flat-screen televisions and other electronic devices.
     Samsung SDI America Inc. and other subsidiaries of the Korean technology company were part of a large class action complaint in which direct purchasers alleged accused companies like Hitachi, Sharp, Philips, Toshiba and Panasonic of conspiring to fix prices in CRT industry when it was worth $19 billion between 1995 and 2007.
     Hitachi agreed in January to settle claims over its role in the alleged scheme for more than $13 million, and LG Electronics agreed to a $25 million settlement in December 2013.
     Samsung is the eighth company to settle, and U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti in San Francisco granted the $33 million deal preliminary approval Friday.
     The settlement provides "for a complete release of all class members' antitrust claims against Samsung SDI and related entities," according to a motion for preliminary approval.
     In the motion, interim lead counsel Guido Saveri, of Saveri & Saveri in San Francisco, said the settlement involves the same class of plaintiffs identified in previous settlements.
     "The settlement class ... is identical to five settlement classes previously certified by the court in connection with its preliminary and final approval of settlements with the Chungwa, Philips, Panasonic, LG and Toshiba defendants," he said. "In addition, the court has granted preliminary approval of a settlement with the Hitachi defendants. The court has also ordered that notice to the Hitachi settlement class be delayed so that a joint notice may be given to both the Hitachi and the Samsung SDI settlement classes."
     Conti approved the motion the same day.
     "The court finds that the settlement falls within the range of possible final approval and that there is a sufficient basis for notifying the class of the proposed settlement and for setting a fairness hearing," the order states.
     Conti set the fairness hearing for Aug. 22.