CRT price cartel
Samsung, LG, Philips & others fined €1.5 billion

07 Dec 2012 | Rasmus Larsen |

The price cartel investigation is ongoing and Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Toshiba and Technicolor have just been fined a total of €1.47 billion ($1.9 billion) for cathode ray price fixing. Philips has to cough up the largest fine.

TV makers fined $1.9 billion

This is not the first price fixing ruling as most of the companies have already been fined in a LCD price fixing scandal. The ongoing investigation has now turned up evidence that the company also had a price cartel established during the CRT days, over the course of two decades (1996 to 2006).

Price cartel
TV makers have been fined 1.9 billion USD for a CRT price cartel

The companies are said to have been involved in “all the worst kinds of anti-competitive behavior that are strictly forbidden” in Europe. Philips has to eat the largest fine at €313 million ($411 million), followed by LG, Panasonic, and Samsung. Toshiba and Technicolor (formerly Thomson) were also fined.

Both picture tubes for TVs and for PC monitors were sold at artificially high prices during the period. The display maker Chungwa was also involved but received full immunity from fines as they were the first to reveal the details. Other companies also received reductions to the fines for their collaboration.

The cartels operated worldwide but held meetings in Europe and Asia followed by a golf game and therefore referred to as “green meeting” between the participants. Most letters were followed by "Please dispose the following document after reading it" as the participants were well aware that they broke the law during the time.

The investigation started in 2007 and could turn up even more ugly findings.

- Source: Europa press

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