|Traded as||NYSE: AUO|
|Key people||Kuen-Yao Lee|
|Revenue||$16 billion USD (2010)|
AU Optronics (AUO) is a Taiwanese manufacturer of TFT LCD and other technologies that was formed in December 2001 by the merger of Acer Display Technology (established in 1996) and Unipac Optoelectronics Corporation by BenQ Electronics[clarification needed]. In April 2006, AUO announced the purchase of Quanta Display, Inc. At the time of merger, the combined companies represented 17% of the global TFT-LCD market.
The production of the company's G6 operation reached #1 worldwide. AUO manufactures TFT panels for companies including Samsung, Sony, NEC, Lenovo, Panasonic, LG, Dell, Apple, Viewsonic, Acer, Toshiba..
On January 28, 2003, the company announced that it returned to profit in 2002.
AU Optronics (AUO) is the first manufacturer in Taiwan to mass-produce TFT-LCD panels by means of G3.5, G4, G5, G6, G7.5 and G8.5 fabrications, and the G8.5 fab entered mass production in June 2009. AUO carries out research and development on display technologies. Since 2002 AUO has been the leader in patent applications among Taiwan's flat panel industry. AUO extended its market to the green energy industry in late 2008, and formally founded its Solar Photovoltaic Business Unit in October 2009.
The company was reported to be planning to build a 7.5-generation LCD generation plant in Kunshan, China, and received government approval from Taiwan on December 17, 2010. Restrictions on investment in China were lifted by Taiwan in February 2010, as long as more advanced technologies are produced at home (such as AUO's 8.5-generation plant in Taichung).
In December 2010, the EU fined AU Optronics for its part in an LCD price-fixing scheme, ordering the company to pay a €116.8 million fine. Other companies fined included LG Display, Chimei Innolux Corporation, Chunghwa Picture Tubes Limited, and HannStar Display Corporation. The company stated that it would appeal the fine, but did not expect the decision to affect its operations.
In 2010 the company built two more manufacturing facilities, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It also formed joined ventures with TPV Technology, Ltd. based in Hong Kong. In 2011 AU Optronics announced plans to recruit 3,000 employees for its solar technology and display businesses. Following the earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011, the company suspended production at its Japanese solar wafer unit, M. Setek Co., to assess potential quake damage.
In June 2011, two of the company's factories (an 8.5-generation factory at the Central Taiwan Science Park and a TV module plant in Suzhou) became the first factories in the world to obtain ISO 50001 certification.
On September 20, 2012, AU Optronics Corporation was sentenced to pay a US$500 million criminal fine for its participation in a five-year conspiracy to fix the prices of thin-film transistor LCD panels sold worldwide. Its American subsidiary and two former top executives were also sentenced. The two executives were sentenced to prison and fined for their roles in the conspiracy. The $500 million fine matches the largest fine imposed against a company for violating U.S. antitrust laws. AU Optronics and the individual defendants have subsequently appealed the court decision.
Beginning in 2013 and throughout 2014, AUO's supply of panels to TV manufacturers increased dramatically, with virtually all of Sony's TVs sold in 2014 containing AUO panels. Samsung also extensively uses AUO panels in sizes such as 50", which it does not manufacture itself. Also, many other TV sets, like Panasonic, LG, Toshiba, Philips and other brands, are using AUO panels. Sharp also uses AUO's panels in entry level sets, mainly in Vestel made sets. Also, AUO's displays are popular in laptops, netbooks, notebooks.
AUO produces panels in sizes ranging from 1.2 inches (30 mm) to greater than 65 inches (1,700 mm). AUO generated US$14.8 billion in sales revenue in 2007 and now employs 43,000 throughout its global operations in Taiwan, the United States, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and China. AUO was the first pure TFT-LCD manufacturer to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
According to the Taipei Times, AU Optronics won a "gold" award for having a green factory. One of four factories in the world to comply with the LEED gold standard, the 8.5 generation facility recycles of 90% of the potable water it uses, 3 million tonnes a year. They have wind-powered generators built into ventilation shafts, and they have stated that they are willing to share this technology with other green-minded factories. They hoped to become carbon-neutral in 2010. In 2011 the company planned to recruit hundreds of employees from overseas to work on green technologies.
02/28/2012 - AU Optronics Corp.'s (AUO's) 8.5 generation plant located in Houli Park in Taichung's Central Taiwan Science Park achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification, the rating system's highest level, according to the council. The National Science Council (NSC) added that the AUO plant was called the largest green plant in the world by the United States Green Building Council, the developer of the LEED certification.
- "AU Optronics to Pay $2.2 Billion for Quanta Display (Update3)". Bloomberg. 2006-04-07. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "Taiwan company, executives indicted for LCD price fixing". Bloomberg. 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "ASIA NEWS".
- Standing, Jonathan (2010-12-11). "Taiwan to OK AU Optronics China plant late Dec-report". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- Ong, Janet; Lin, Adela (2010-12-17). "AU to Build $3 Billion LCD Factory in China, Taiwan's First, as Ties Warm". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- Aoife White (2010-12-08). "LCD-Panel Makers Fined $649 Million by European Union for Price Fixing". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- "Joaquín Almunia Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Competition Policy Press conference on LCD cartel, Visa and French chemists' association decisions Press conference Brussels, 8 December 2010". Europa.eu. 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "Taiwan's AU Optronics to appeal EU fine". The China Post. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- "AUO to expand workforce for display, solar sectors". Focus Taiwan News Channel. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-05.
- "AUO assesses damage to LCD panel supply chain". Taipei Times. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
- "AUO becomes first manufacturer to obtain ISO-50001". Taipei Times. 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
- "AU Optronics wins gold award for green factory". Taipei Times. 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "AUO to recruit research manpower from overseas". Focus Taiwan News Channel. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2011-01-26.