Taiwanese Electronics Executive Acquitted of Criminal Charges in Price-Fixing Matter
October 16, 2013
After a three-week federal trial, a San Francisco jury needed only a day and a half to deliberate before acquitting Richard Bai, an executive at Taiwan-based AU Optronics (AUO), of criminal price-fixing charges. The trial was one of several criminal matters instigated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of a larger, ongoing antitrust investigation of the manufacturers of thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels found in various electronic products.
The DOJ accused Mr. Bai, head of AUO's notebook division, of colluding to set prices of LCD panels with several manufacturers, including LG Display Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. Mr. Bai attended one of more than 60 meetings that the DOJ claimed involved discussions of price-fixing. He was represented by Shearman & Sterling LLP and the Law Offices of Brian H. Getz, who retained a team from Analysis Group, led by Managing Principal Bruce Deal and Manager Asta Sendonaris, to assess economic issues raised in the case. Mr. Deal provided economic testimony at trial on AUO's market share among major customers, as well as the growth and volume of AUO's notebook sales during the specified period.
With the acquittal -- which is rare in white-collar criminal matters -- Mr. Bai is free to return to Taiwan; he came to the United States voluntarily to face these charges.