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AUO anti-trust trial to be completed in 2-3 months at earliest

AUO anti-trust trial to be completed in 2-3 months at earliest

San Francisco, Jan. 8 (CNA) A trial of alleged price-fixing by Taiwan-based flat panel maker AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), which is scheduled to start in the United States Jan. 9, is expected to be completed in two or three months at the earliest, sources close to the case said Sunday. The trial will kick off in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The sources said that after more than a year of investigation and negotiations, both the prosecutors and defense lawyers are hoping that the pace of the trial will be sped up to end the case and allow three AUO present and former executives to leave the U.S. The three have been barred from leaving the U.S. since August 2010 following a hearing in which they pleaded their case after AUO, a subsidiary in Houston and six executives, including the three, were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). AUO, the subsidiary and the six executives were accused by the DOJ of conspiring to fix flat screen prices with other industry rivals in Asia between September 2001 and December 2006. AUO, which has repeatedly denied any involvement and has vowed not to plead guilty, said in a statement released in Taipei that it will continue to fight the case as "it is the right thing to do, as it hopes that the real facts can be presented through the trial." "The company continues to fight because it believes in the integrity of those who have worked tirelessly to make the company what it is." AUO said. "AUO competed with others through its innovation, hard work, and the efficiency of its employees to gradually become a global leader in the TFT-LCD industry." The three executives -- Chen Hsuan-bin, Chen Lai-juh and Hsiung Hui -- are allowed to move freely in northern California, but cannot leave the U.S. without permission from the U.S. Pretrial Services Agency, as the prosecutors have deemed them a flight risk. AUO has sent representatives to California, the sources said, adding that they will work closely with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles to insist on the innocence of the three and to request their release as soon as possible. Other Asian manufacturers, including Taiwan-based Chimei Innolux Corp. Chunghwa Picture Tubes, and various companies in Japan and South Korea, are among the other companies that have already pleaded guilty in plea bargains and have agreed to pay massive fines and compensation. (By Oscar Wu and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-07-29 09:36 GMT+08:00