Breaking News Bar
updated: 12/5/2012 6:53 AM

EU imposes $1.9 billion fine on screen producers

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
Associated Press

BRUSSELS -- The European Union on Wednesday imposed its biggest ever cartel fine of almost $1.96 billion on seven companies for fixing the market of television and computer monitor tubes.

The EU's Commission ruled that, for a decade ending in 2006, the companies -- including Philips, LG Electronics and Panasonic -- artificially set prices, shared markets and restricted their output at the expense of the consumer.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

EU antitrust Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said that the companies' actions "feature all the worst kinds of anticompetitive behavior that are strictly forbidden to companies doing business in Europe."

Tubes were the essential part of television screens and computer monitors before they were replaced by flatscreens. The cathode ray tubes accounted for up to 70 percent of the cost of a screen, the Commission said.

Alumina added that the tubes' cost gave "an indication of the serious harm" the companies had caused.

Philips and LG Electronics, which acted jointly and separately, were fined a combined $1.3 billion with Panasonic punished with a $205 million fine, adding to more if combined fines and affiliates were included.

Other companies fined were Samsung SDI, Technicolor, MTPD and Toshiba. Chunghwa of Taiwan escaped fines as it was the first to reveal the cartel to the EU.

`'It is the biggest fine for a cartel, ever," Almunia said. The fine exceeded the previous record of the 2008 fine of $1.8 billion in a car glass cartel.

Almunia said the tubes cartel operated worldwide with the companies involved fully realizing they acted illegally.

One document seized by the Commission had a warning "Everybody is requested to keep it as secret as it would be serious damage if it is open to customers or European Commission".

Another documents said "Please dispose the following document after reading it".

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.