Seven companies based in Asia will pay $553 million US to settle allegations by prosecutors in eight U.S. states that they conspired to inflate prices for liquid crystal display screens used in televisions and computer monitors, said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The agreement provides $501 million US for partial refunds for consumers in 24 states and the District of Columbia who purchased products with the companies' panels from 1999 through 2006.

The attorney general had alleged that the Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese companies, which make the thin film transistor LCD panels, conspired to keep prices high.

The settlement covers Chi Mei Innolux Corp., Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd., Epson Imaging Devices Corp., HannStar Display Corp., Hitachi Displays Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Sharp Corp. and their U.S. affiliates.