Policy & Law
The European Commission (EC) has fined Philips, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and two other firms a record €1.47 billion (roughly $1.92 billion) for fixing the price of TV components for nearly a decade. Philips was allocated the largest fine at €313.4 million ($411 million) followed in order by LG, Panasonic, and Samsung. Toshiba and Technicolor were also fined (relatively) small amounts.
The fines are the result of a lengthy investigation that culminated in raids on the companies involved in 2007. All were found guilty of fixing the price of the cathode-ray tubes found in televisions and computer monitors prior to the popularization of "flat screen" displays like LCDs and plasmas.
In a statement released earlier today, Joaquín Almunia, the EC's Vice President in charge of competition policy, said that the fines reflected the companies' involvement in "the worst kinds of anticompetitive behavior," adding that the cathode-ray tubes accounted for 50 - 70 percent of the overall 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 [Europe], and ultimately the harm it caused to the European consumers over the years"