iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Reuters
Brussels, December 06, 2012
The European Commission imposed the biggest antitrust penalty in its history on Wednesday, fining six firms including Philips, LG Electronics and Panasonic a total of €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) for running two cartels for nearly a decade. The Commission said executives from the European and Asian companies met until six years ago to fix prices and divide up markets for TV and computer monitor cathode-ray tubes, technology now mostly made obsolete by flat screens.

Between 1996 and 2006 they met in Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and in Asia for "green meetings", so-called because they often ended in a round of golf.

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"These cartels for cathode-ray tubes are 'textbook cartels': they feature all the worst kinds of anti-competitive behaviour that are strictly forbidden to companies doing business in Europe," EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

The EU antitrust regulator imposed the biggest penalties on Philips for its role in the price fixing and carving up of markets.

The Dutch-based firm was fined €313.4 million and faces a further penalty through a joint venture.

The European Commission fined Panasonic Corp €157.5 million, Samsung SDI €150.8 million, Toshiba Corp €28 million, and French company Technicolor €38.6 million.

Two Panasonic joint ventures were also fined.