Some LCD Panel Makers Under Investigation

Fair trade officials from South Korea, Japan and the U.S. reportedly are investigating LG.Philips LCD as part of an international probe into the conduct of manufacturers of LCD panels.

Philips and LG Electronics, currently engaged in a joint venture, said this week it received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice, according to published reports. Both firms were said to be fully cooperating with the authorities, which reportedly are investigating possible anti-competitive practices in the LCD manufacturing sector.

Officials from the Korean Fair Trade Commission last week visited the LG.Philips LCD office in Seoul, Korea, the firms said in a statement. Also, last week the Japanese Fair Trade Commission issued a notice to LG.Philips in Tokyo, and DOJ issued a subpoena to the manufacturer's offices in San Jose, Calif.

Last year, LG.Philips was the world's highest-volume maker of large LCD panels used in flatscreen TV units. Samsung Electronics overtook it this year.