Court to rule whether state can sue LCD screen maker

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will consider whether the state of Mississippi can bring a state-level lawsuit in a global LCD screen price-fixing conspiracy.

The justices today agreed to hear an appeal from state officials in their lawsuit against AU Optronics Corp. A federal jury last year found the company guilty of price-fixing on its liquid crystal display screens. Mississippi also wanted to sue in state court.

But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to send that lawsuit back, instead allowing it to stay in federal courts. Four other states, however, have been allowed to bring state-level lawsuits against the Taiwan company.

Several companies from Japan, Korea and Taiwan were accused of fixing prices for thin film transistor LCD panels from 1999 to 2006.

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