Philips, LG, Samsung, others slapped with $1.92 billion in fines by EU

The EU has imposed a record-setting fine of $1.92 billion on Philips, LG Electronics, Samsung SDI and three other firms because of illegal price fixing of TVs and computer monitors. The biggest fine went to Philips at $410 million (313.4 million euros), with LG Electronics coming in second at $386 million (295.6 million euros) and Samsung third at “only” $196 million (150.8 million euros). Toshiba and French company Technicolor were also slapped fines in the tens of millions.

These penalties come after a lengthy investigation by the EU competition authority following allegations of these companies working as cartels to set fixed prices on TVs and computer monitors. These cartels seem to have operated between 1996 and 2006, during which company executives discussed how to fix prices and share markets.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement:

These cartels for cathode ray tubes are 'textbook cartels': they feature all the worst kinds of anti-competitive behavior that are strictly forbidden to companies doing business in Europe

So far Philips is the only company to respond publicly to the fines. In the company's press release, Philips tries to distance itself from this situation stating that Philips CRT activities were divested in 2001 in a joint venture with LG. They state that the fines are "disproportionate and unjustified." But the company also issued an apology, however, saying "We regret any association with this type of behavior." You can actually watch a video of the company's apology here.

In the end, these kinds of activities are hurting consumers so we can't say we're sorry one bit for these companies.

Source: Reuters | Image via OpenMarkets.in

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21 Comments

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i don't see the problem with price fixing or market sharing..
Its called a free market. They did that because they could. Its called business.
Kinda like the EU getting uptight about Microsoft bundling their OS with IE or WMP.
So what ! ..who cares if they do and why wouldn't they ? They would be dumb not to.

Sure maybe these guys got together and did some things that were specific that i haven't heard here but It just sounds like routine / fair business to me..

Has anyone considered that prices may have been higher overall if they did NOT do this ?

Why do any EU news bring out all the trolls? Seriously, in what way does this effect YOU? Please take your time but don't hurt your little troll head thinking too hard.


So much ignorance... *sigh*

rpsgc said,
Why do any EU news bring out all the trolls? Seriously, in what way does this effect YOU? Please take your time but don't hurt your little troll head thinking too hard.


So much ignorance... *sigh*

it gets lonely sitting under a bridge.. waiting..

Nikos_GR said,

Perhaps need money to nurse dummy ones like you.

Sorry, you already got money from my country. Back to your cave now.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
So, need more money for Greece do we?

It would definitely seem that way. Most corrupt country in Europe according to BBC News. Maybe we will get the EU Referendum one day and the UK can make an exit from the EU. The only thing propping it up will be the Germans then!

jamieakers said,

It would definitely seem that way. Most corrupt country in Europe according to BBC News. Maybe we will get the EU Referendum one day and the UK can make an exit from the EU. The only thing propping it up will be the Germans then!

Too bad our politicians are too blind to see what's really going on. There are just a few countries left in the EU who are not in debts over their heads.

I love how they are stealing large sums of money from companies with these sorts of so called "judgements".
I could see if they were ordered to refund portions of sales to the consumer but are only using it to line the coffers of the EU, and this is just one of many such suits. In the long run it is the consumer who will ultimately bear the burden of such so called fines and not the ones to benefit from them..

billstelling said,
I love how they are stealing large sums of money from companies with these sorts of so called "judgements".
I could see if they were ordered to refund portions of sales to the consumer but are only using it to line the coffers of the EU, and this is just one of many such suits. In the long run it is the consumer who will ultimately bear the burden of such so called fines and not the ones to benefit from them..

Don't worry they companies will keep on stealing from you!

billstelling said,
I love how they are stealing large sums of money from companies with these sorts of so called "judgements".
I could see if they were ordered to refund portions of sales to the consumer but are only using it to line the coffers of the EU, and this is just one of many such suits. In the long run it is the consumer who will ultimately bear the burden of such so called fines and not the ones to benefit from them..

yeah if EU have not stepped in you would still be paying $1000 for a TV that you are paying $500 now

Nikos_GR said,

Don't worry they companies will keep on stealing from you!

EU bashing is the new "in" thing. Join the bandwagon!

rpsgc said,

EU bashing is the new "in" thing. Join the bandwagon!

It's often from yanks, as most of the time it's unsurprisingly a typical currupt American company, so they don't like American money going to the EU, being the greedy and currupt Americans that they are. But this time it wasn't a U.S company for once.

Neobond said,
So I bought my CRT's and (Phillips) TV way overpriced? Shame I won't be getting a cut of that fine

I am sure the money will be distributed between EU countries, weather your government does anything with it that helps you is another matter

exotoxic said,

I am sure the money will be distributed between EU countries, weather your government does anything with it that helps you is another matter


If for 18 concurrent years the books of the EU hasn't added up, you can BET the EU and all governments will see NONE of that money.

As much as I disagree with large fines like this, price fixing is not on so I hope they and other tech giants get a wake up call.