An economic downturn is not the time you want to get hit with big fines.
Unfortunately that is exactly what has happened to Hitachi. It seems they finally confessed to helping to fix prices on LCD panels with rivals.
Their punishment for this is a hefty $31 Million dollars. Hitachi and three other companies kept prices artificially high on TFT (thin film transistor) LCD panels according to the charges.
Hitachi sold primarily to Dell over the period from 2001 to 2004. And is getting the smallest of the fine handed out to the three in the conspiracy.
Read more here.
The fine is by far the smallest handed out to a company involved in the shenanigans. Late last year, LG Display agreed to pay $400 million (£291 million) for its role in the conspiracy, while Sharp paid $120 million (£87million) and Chunghwa $65million (£47 million).
Several executives within the companies also pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to jail and fines ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 (£14,500 to £36,300).
Scott Hammond, acting assistant attorney general in charge of the DoJ's anti-trust division reckons, "This case should send a strong message to multinational companies operating in the US that, when it comes to enforcing US anti-trust laws, we mean business."