AU Optronics (AUO) appeared in a US court this week to deny charges that it had failed to implement an effective compliance programme, after the company was found guilty in 2008 of conspiring to fix LCD panel prices.
According to the arraignment in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, which was initiated by the court’s probation officer, AUO has failed to implement a compliance and ethics program designed to prevent a recurrence of the illegal activity. However, AUO refuted the allegation saying that it had taken the required action, including publishing state-of-the-art compliance documents, hiring a former commissioner of the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission as its Chief of Antitrust Compliance, and the repeated training of well over 1,000 employees. In addition, implementation of the compliance programme is overseen by external professional legal counsel which will be further strengthened as necessary.
If this latest court action supports the prosecutor’s charge, AUO could face a further fine of $1 billion and five years probation.