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AUO to fight Korean trade commission anti-trust ruling

2011/08/10 16:39:41

Taipei, Aug. 10 (CNA) AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) said Wednesday it will appeal a ruling by South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) that the world's No. 4 LCD maker and other Taiwanese manufacturers had violated anti-trust laws.

AUO received an "Examiner's Report" issued by the commission alleging that a number of LCD manufacturers, including AUO and Chimei Innolux Corp., had violated competition rules in South Korea, according to an AUO statement.

The commission has not yet announced fines against the violators, and AUO is reviewing the Examiner's Report and "will take appropriate further actions," the statement said.

"We're studying the case and will appeal the ruling," AUO Marketing Manager Freda Lee told CNA.

Lee did not expect the outcome of the case to have any impact on its bottom line this year.

"By the end of the second quarter, our company increased provisions for ongoing and anticipated litigation, so the Korean lawsuit should not have any impact on our operations in the third or fourth quarter," she said.

The case was the latest in a series of anti-trust actions taken against AUO and other Taiwanese LCD panel makers in the United States and Europe that have resulted in stiff fines for the companies.

Earlier on Monday, AUO saw revenues push slightly higher in July on a month-on-month basis as it struggles to reverse the negative 9.3 percent net operating margin it posted in the second quarter.

The company's consolidated revenue in July rose 4.7 percent from a month earlier to NT$32.74 billion (US$1.13 billion) but was down 15.8 percent year-on-year.

During the first seven months of 2011, the company had sales of NT$224 billion, down 19.7 percent from the NT$279 billion in sales it posted over the same period in 2010.

(By Jeffrey Wu)