LCD price fixing

CNet reports that LCD manufacturers fixed prices. They're paying out $553M in a settlement, although I'm not sure to what end; the article is vague.

A few things I take from this:

  • This would plausibly explain the pricing of 30" monitors—the only technology I can cite that has enjoyed a static price for six years. With genuine market forces working as they should, the price should have dropped over time. I don't care how theoretically low the demand is.
  • This may also explain, at least in part, the failure of the industry to bring OLED to market. Why bother innovating with new screen technologies when you can continue to reap huge profit margins on technology that hasn't really changed since 2003? This is especially true if you can dupe consumers into thinking LED-backlit monitors are "LED monitors."
  • The fall-out is pathetic. Half a billion to some vague "refund" program is never going to stop this sort of practice.
  • Where were the other electronics manufacturers? Were they in on it or did they honestly not see this stagnant market that I've been ranting about for years ripe for conquest? As a result of the other manufacturers' irksome slumber, there are no viable alternatives to which a consumer may turn to punish the criminals.
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