Samsung is a Korean-based company known for its global export of high-technology electronics and components. The business and its many subsidiaries operate throughout the world, manufacturing laptops, televisions, smartphones, monitors SDRAM, and many other electronics-related products. It’s a leader in the industry, but Samsung has a jaded history of committing anti-competitive violations. Here are the 10 biggest Samsung lawsuits in company history with a heavy emphasis on it most notable failures to treat consumers fairly.
10. Samsung penalized for False Claims Act violations Penalty amount: $2.3 million
The US Department of Justice investigated allegations that Samsung Electronics American Inc. made false claims about products they sold that violated the Trade Agreements Act of 1979. the products were sold on multiple award schedule contracts of the General Service Administration in MAS contracts awarded, through negotiations that came with strict stipulations. Samsung failed to certify all products sold complied with the Trade Agreements Act.
One of the stipulations is that the products must either be manufactured in the United States or in another country with which America has a trade agreement. Some of the goods sold were made in the country of China, a country with which no trade agreement existed at the time. By failing to comply with the established rules per the contract, Samsung committed multiple violations that came under scrutiny by the Justice Department Civil Division. On August 19, 2014, Samsung agreed to pay the penalty of $2.3 million to resolve the civil action.
9. Illinois Attorney General agrees to Samsung settlement for fixing prices Settlement amount: $43 million
The Illinois Attorney General confirmed that a case filed against Samsung, Toshiba, Panasonic, Philips, LG, and Hitachi alleged a conspiracy to fix the prices of CRTs in monitors and televisions. the matter was brought to the attention of the courts in 2012. As a result of the agreement between the companies to fix prices, the cost of the products that were equipped with CRTs rose higher. consumers in the state of Illinois experienced a significant cost increase that was elevated about what it would have been under circumstances of “normal competition.” Price fixing is an illegal activity that constituted fraud and deceptive and unfair business practices.
A Circuit court of cook county approved a settlement of $43 million for distribution to victims of the inflated prices who filed their claims for compensation before the deadline set for July 12, 2018. The Attorney’s General Office for the state of Illinois sent a powerful message to Samsung and other electronics companies that the legal system will not tolerate such practices and will seek damages whenever deceptive practices are confirmed. Individuals eligible for payments were set to receive between $20 to $42 per CRT monitor/television purchased at the time that prices were unfairly inflated. It’s estimated that 8,000 claims were submitted with purchases made for over a million CRT-equipped appliances.
8. Samsung penalized in Washington State for price fixing Settlement amount: $44 million, reduced to $12,940,000
The Washington State Attorney General confirmed that the Washington State Attorney General’s Office pursued litigation on behalf of Washingtonians who were charged inflated prices by LCD manufacturers in a case related to the Illinois litigation. The Washington AG confirmed that the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Samsung and other electronics manufacturers for getting together and agreeing to a price-fixing scam that violated anti-competition laws. By engaging in the deceptive practice of price fixing, all parties involved broke the law and victimized the consumers who purchased their products. This case is slightly different than the 2012 Illinois action. The Washington AG sought damages for LCD products on televisions, and laptops, and included cell phones in a civil case. The original settlement of $44 million resulted in Samsung paying a penalty of $12,940,000 for its share. The case was settled on May 15, 2015.
7. 2018 Price-fixing case against Samsung Penalty: $29 million
The Washington State Attorney General pursued a second case in three years against Samsung and other electronics manufacturer for engaging price-fixing and anti-competitive practices. The first case was resolved on May 15, 2015, but Samsung and the others continued to engage in illegal activities involving agreements to fix prices across the industry for cathode ray tubes. The Washington Attorney’s General Office announced that a lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court, alleging a conspiracy between the seven companies resulted in unfair prices on numerous electronics equipped with the CRTs.
The group pays $39.65 million, with Samsung paying a penalty of $29 million. This is the highest liability in this case. Claims filing for recovery of loss remain open for members of the class-action lawsuit. The funds collected through the penalties were distributed back to the consumers as restitution. The deadline for filing claims was set for May 16, 2019. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office sent a second clear statement to the manufacturers that deceptive and unfair price-fixing practices will not be tolerated. Swift legal action will be taken each time Washingtonians are impacted by nefarious practices.
6. The Feds penalize Samsung SDI Company LTD for price-fixing Penalty: $32 million
The United States Department of Justice announced a 2011 anti-competition case against Samsung SDI Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Samsung. The United States Department Antitrust Division investigated claims that Samsung conspired with other electronics companies to fix prices on electronics equipped with DCTs in computer monitors and other applications. This case was just one in a slew of legal actions to follow to hold the electronics giants involved accountable for their deceptive practices. Investigations into allegations revealed that a conspiracy between the major brands existed, creating a case for anti-competitive practice, which is a criminal offense.
When held accountable for its actions, Samsung agreed to plead guilty to the charges for its part in the worldwide conspiracy for price fixing. Additional activities of the group include the reduction of output to drive consumer costs even higher. The companies also shut down their production lines to create an environment of scarcity to increase the costs further in a diabolical scheme to bilk the populace. Evidence showed that the electronics companies involved in the conspiracy held meetings in China, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, and other places to concoct the illegal scheme. The feds charged Samsung SDI with committing violations of the Sherman Act, which comes with a possible maximum fine of $100 million. It’s no wonder the company readily agrees to the $32 million fine to resolve the case on March 18, 2011. This is one of many lawsuits to follow as a result of their actions.
5. Samsung Heavy Industries Company Limited in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses and bribery Penalty: $37,740,800
In 2019, a criminal case against Samsung Heavy Industries Companies Limited for its participation in competition offenses is open. The United States Attorney Eastern District of Virginia files criminal charges against the company, which is a subsidiary of Samsung. Investigations reveal that the company participats in a scheme to pay bribes in the millions to officials in the country of Brazil. Resulting in a penalty of $75 million split in half by the United States and Brazil for its illegal and criminal activities.
As a part of Samsung Heavy Duty Industries Company Limited’s agreement to accept responsibility in the matter, they agreed to pay the penalties, and the prosecutor agreed to a deferred prosecution for the criminal charges, settling the issue with full payment of the fines. The case revealed that Samsung participated in practices that were criminal by definition of the law and deceptive on a global level., violating numerous laws related to antitrust, competition, and participation in criminal activities for over a decade to inflate prices and treat consumers in a manner grossly unfair to consumers.
4. Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd. 2007 lawsuit for price fixing Penalty: $90 million
The plaintiffs filed a civil lawsuit against Samsung Semiconductor Inc and Samsung Electronics Company Ltd in 2007 for allegations of competition-related offenses. The company engaged in activities to fix prices for its Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) components, to drive prices higher for consumers, and create an environment of anti-competitive pricing resulting in higher prices for consumers throughout the industry on a global scale. The litigation is in a multistate Attorneys General action. The companies agree to a settlement of $90 million to resolve the issue in the court system. The lawsuit concludes on February 6, 2007.
3. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd sued by California for price fixing in 2011 Penalty amount: $240 million
The State of California Department of Justice announces a civil case filed by multistate attorneys general over allegations that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. engages in price fixing with seven other companies to drive the prices higher for flat screen LCD panels. This litigation is one of many lawsuits that arises for similar practices. However, some cases are matters of criminal action. The incident is at the state level in civil court. The total penalties for the companies involve reach a dollar amount of $553 million. However, this figure is the final damage assessment for all participants in the price-fixing conspiracy. However, its share of the fines was nearly half that amount at $240 million.
Samsung agrees to pay the penalty to resolve the issue on December 27, 2011. However, the California Attorney General’s Office is in charge of the legal proceedings. However, they are with AGs of Wisconsin, West Virginia, New York, Missouri, Michigan, Floria, and Arkansas. They are representing consumers in their respective states. Proceedings in the legal action convened in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Other defendants in the case were Sharp Corporation, Sharp Electronics Corporation, Chimei Innolux Corp. Even Chi Mei Optoelectttronics USA, Inc, Chi Mei Optoelectronics Japan Co, Ltd, Hitachi Ltd, Hitachi Displays, Ltd, Hitachi Electronic Devices, USA Inc, and HannStar Display Corporation. Although Samsung settled, the case continues against LG and its subsidiaries. Including, Toshiba and its subsidiaries, and AU Optronics Corporation and its subsidiaries. However, the AG opened the filing of claims in February of 2012. This is for victims to file their claims to receive compensation for the price gouging.
2. Samsung Electronics Company Ltd sued for criminal anti-competitive practices Penalty: $300 million
Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. has a long history of criminal activity. This is related to conspiracy to fix prices and commit a violation of antitrust laws. The United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division pursued charges against Samsung. This is for participation in an international price-fixing conspiracy to fix prices in the Dynamic Random Access Memory. However, when faced with the evidence, Samsung pleaded guilty to the charges. The electronics giant also agreed to pay the penalty of $300 million for its role in the nefarious activities. However, the case became resolved on October 13, 2005, with many more to follow in the years ahead.
1. Samsung loses to Apple in the patent lawsuit Settlement amount: $1 billion
Samsung engaged with Apple over numerous disputes over the smartphone technology used in their smartphones. The two companies had an ongoing battle over whom was the offender. The technologies they used in developing various smartphone and tablet models bore similarities. It became obvious that one of the companies had violated patent laws. It was not immediately clear which had developed the technologies first. However, there is a major lawsuit, and hundreds of technical questions to successfully sort the matter to conclude.
The New York Times reports on the biggest lawsuit in the history of the Samsung company which cost the electronics giant $1 billion. Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung, alleging patent violations for its smartphone business. Apple filed the case in a federal courthouse in San Jose, California. Reviews of the evidence revealed that Samsung. It “infringed on a series of Apple’s patents on mobile devices, awarding Apple more than $1 billion in damages.” This was an ongoing patent war in which Samsung also alleged Apple violated patent laws and filed a countersuit. Upon review of the evidence, the nine-member jury unanimously found that Samsung had infringed on Apple’s patent. However, this would make it more difficult for Samsung to rebound and win any appeals in later motions.