Feeds

Record €1.47 BEELLION EC fine for price-fixing display cartels

CRT monitors - more evil than we knew

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The EC has fined screen-makers including Samsung and LG €1.47bn for joining in one or both of two different CRT cartels running between 1996 and 2006.

The European Commission's antitrust division said that eight different companies fixed prices, shared markets, divvied out customers between them and restricted their output in the colour display tubes for tellies in one cartel and computer monitors in the other.

The companies' top management agreed the anticompetitive deals at "green meetings", so-called by the firms because they were usually followed by a game of golf.

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

"Cathode ray tubes were a very important component in the making of television and computer screens. They accounted for 50 to 70 per cent of the price of a screen. This gives an indication of the serious harm this illegal behaviour has caused both to television and computer screen producers in the EEA, and ultimately the harm it caused to the European consumers over the years".

The commission said that Chunghwa, LG Electronics, Philips and Samsung SDI participated in both cartels, while Panasonic and its subsidiary MTPD, Toshiba and Technicolor took part in the TV tube cartel. Chunghwa, however, got full immunity from the fines since it was the firm that came clean to the commission and started the investigation.

Some of the other firms were shown leniency because they cooperated with the investigation, but all of them will have to pay millions. Philips and LG are the worst off, getting €313m and €295m fines respectively. Samsung was fined €151m and Panasonic will have to pay €157m.

The cartels were trying to keep earning money as the market for CRT declined, the commission said, in a way that was hurting consumers. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
APPLE FAILS to ditch class action suit over ebook PRICE-FIX fiasco
Do not pass go, do cough (up to) $840m in damages
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.