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State announces $63 million settlement for consumers of certain electronic devices

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SEATTLE — If you purchased a smart phone, television or a computer in the past several years, you could have some money coming.

The state attorney general announced a $63 million settlement Friday, some of which could be finding its way back into your pocket.

“We make sure powerful interests play by the rules,” said state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The settlement is one of the biggest recoveries for the state, seeking money from nine overseas companies.

Ferguson said big-time electronics manufacturers conspired to squeeze Washingtonians out of big bucks.

“The price of virtually every television, LCD computer monitor, TV, cell phone and laptop was inflated because of a conspiracy,” he said.

Ferguson said popular companies such as Sharp, Epson, Toshiba, LG, Hitachi and Samsung worked to fix the price of LCD panels to avoid competing with one another.

The bottom line? Consumers paid nearly 20% more for the electronic devices.

“If you bought multiple of these items,” said Ferguson, “You could have been adversely affected multiple times.”

Now the electronic giants have agreed to fork over $63 million to Washington state consumers who bought their products between 1998 and 2006.

A King County court still needs to sign off on the proposed settlements. Then the state will set up a claims administrator to help dole out the cash.

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