Nokia is suing 11 LCD manufacturers–including Toshiba, Sharp, Philips, Samsung, and LG Display–for price-fixing. It alleges that from 1996 to 2006, these companies artificially inflated the prices of the displays Nokia uses in its products.
Just last year, the U.S. Department of Justice fined numerous LCD makers for price fixing, including Sharp and LG Display, who pleaded guilty. Currently, the European Union is looking into display price fixing. As a result, Nokia feels confident in its case.
The company did not disclose how much money it is seeking. The company stated in its complaint that “Nokia suffered damages as a result … and is entitled to treble damages and injunctive relief to remedy these injuries.”
It seems like 2009 will be the year of the lawsuit for Nokia–the company announced in October that it was suing Apple for patent infringement, alleging that the success of products like the iPhone was a result of Apple getting “a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.”
Nokia’s executive vice president of entertainment and communities, Tero Ojanperä and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo recently told Fast Company that Nokia wants to position itself as the biggest entertainment company in the world, and is “not a cell-phone company.” (Interesting, as Nokia is the world’s largest cell-phone maker.) But announcing these two major lawsuits within mere months of each other doesn’t exactly draw attention to the company’s innovation–it reminds us of their competitors, and leaves Nokia looking a little, well, desperate.SS