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CRT manufacturers fined for price fixing collusion until 2006

by Mark Tyson on 7 December 2012, 13:30

Tags: Philips (AMS:PHIA), LG Display, Samsung (005935.KS), Panasonic (TYO:6752), Toshiba (TYO:6502)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabp5z

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CRT manufacturers Philips, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Technicolor and Toshiba are all guilty of collusion to fix prices during the ten year period from 1996 to 2006 according to the European Commission (EC). European anti-trust investigators found evidence of this anti-competitive behaviour and the EC has followed through by imposing fines totalling a record €1.47 billion.

The biggest fine has been imposed upon Philips at €313.4 million, followed by LG Electronics with €295.6m. Panasonic, Samsung, Technicolor and Toshiba were also fined €157.4m, €150.8m, €38.6m and €28m respectively. A further party implicated in the price-fixing, Taiwanese manufacturer Chunghwa Picture Tubes, escaped being fined as it was the investigation whistle-blower.

EC investigators said that executives from the firms involved regularly discussed how to fix prices at cosy “green meetings” so named because they were followed by a round of golf. These meetings were followed by lower level quarterly, monthly or even weekly meetings to implement price fixes. It is estimated that this price collusion cost consumers dearly as CRT costs made up between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of a TV/monitor price at the time.

In the 90s these would have cost £$£s

Joaquin Almunia, the EU Competition Commissioner, said “These cartels for cathode ray tubes are 'textbook cartels': they feature all the worst kinds of anti-competitive behaviour that are strictly forbidden to companies doing business in Europe.”

It has emerged that LG will appeal against the EC fine arguing reduced liability and unfair treatment. Though the EC says the price fixing between the companies was a worldwide practice other competition authorities have not come to the same conclusions. LG points out that the Korean, US and Canadian authorities have not found LG to be liable in similar cases.

So I’m now certain I paid too much for several CRT monitors from the mid 1990s onwards, where will the EC fine cash go?



HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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So I’m now certain I paid too much for several CRT monitors from the mid 1990s onwards, where will the EC fine cash go?

Lol Exactly! We will never see a cent of it or have a clue where it REALLY goes. It will get shared between the EU and probably fill the pockets of many politicians. Justice well served :rollseyes:

So what the EC are saying to the colluders is, ‘You charged consumers over the odds for screens, you basically were stealing from consumers. Please can we have some of that stolen money for ourselves, Thanks’.
Yes, just where is that money going to go? hmmm
Harkin
So I’m now certain I paid too much for several CRT monitors from the mid 1990s onwards, where will the EC fine cash go?

Lol Exactly! We will never see a cent of it or have a clue where it REALLY goes. It will get shared between the EU and probably fill the pockets of many politicians. Justice well served :rollseyes:

So what the EC are saying to the colluders is, ‘You charged consumers over the odds for screens, you basically were stealing from consumers. Please can we have some of that stolen money for ourselves, Thanks’.

Haha yeh exactly. Except they're not asking for it, they're taking it!
LG points out that the Korean, US and Canadian authorities have not found LG to be liable in similar cases.
How is this even an argument? Saying jurisdiction X, and Y found them innocent of charge A doesn't mean charge A isn't an offence in jurisdiction Z.
Haha true ZaO :D

When you read how much the European Commission costs the EU and especially the UK every year and then you see a story like this and you know that money would never get back to consumers, just makes me sick. Why is always the consumer that gets robbed and these special commissions made to help us with these things is just another robbery along the way. Now those companies are going to charge a tiny bit more and us consumers will have to pay again.

They could have just told the companies like lets say Philips at €313 million stolen, they could make Philips sell off stock at a reduced priced to the value of €313 million of savings, thus us consumers could at least try and get something back.

Sorry rant over :/