On December 7, 2009 the Brazilian Secretariat of Economic Law of the Ministry of Justice (SDE) formally initiated an investigation into a suspected international cartel between manufacturers of TFT-LCD panels. The SDE has surveyed six different companies in association with its investigation: Chungwa Picture Tubes, Hitachi Displays, LG Display, Samsung Electronics Corporation, Sharp Corporation and Epson Imaging Devices Corporation. The US DOJ obtained guilty pleas from five of these six companies through its price-fixing investigation into the TFT-LCD industry. The sixth company, Samsung, is presumed to be the amnesty applicant in the US investigation.