AT&T and the LCD industry make for strange courtfellows, but wait'll you hear what for: AT&T claims that due to LCD price fixing by LG, Sharp and other, they've overpaid for 300 million handsets. Interestingly, they're not thrilled about this.
Between a general leeriness towards AT&T and spectacularly huge numbers involved, the whole thing sounds a little conspiratorial. Thing is, the price-fixing definitely happened:
South Korea's LG Display Co., Sharp Corp. and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. agreed last November to pay $585 million in criminal fines in a U.S. Justice Department probe of illegally price fixing on LCDs used in flat-screen televisions, cellphones and other devices.
This lawsuit is less about AT&T proving that some of the biggest LCD manufacturers in the world have been gouging them (and in turn, their customers) than it is about getting some kind of compensation for said gouging, which has been driving up prices of phones for quite a while now.
I mean, probably not by more than a few cents apiece, but still! Outrage! As a bonus, this is a rare chance to earnestly root for the Death Star. [WSJ]