EU imposes record $1.9 billion cartel fine on Philips, five others

Wed Dec 5, 2012 10:54am EST
 

The Commission also fined Samsung SDI 150.8 million euros, Toshiba Corp. 28 million euros, and French company Technicolor 38.6 million euros.

A joint venture between Philips and LG Electronics was penalized 391.9 million euros while two Panasonic joint ventures were also sanctioned.

Almunia said the violations were especially harmful for consumers, as cathode-ray tubes accounted for 50 to 70 percent of the price of a screen.

Cathode-ray tubes have largely been replaced by more advanced display technologies such as liquid-crystal display (LCD), plasma display and organic light-emitting diodes.

Philips sold off the business which committed the infringement in 2001 but said it would make a provision of 509 million euros in the fourth quarter for the fine.

ING analyst Fabian Smeets told ANP-Reuters that the sanction was significant, but had been expected. Philips' shares were down 0.82 percent to 19.93 euros at late afternoon, erasing earlier gains after news of the fines.

Technicolor said the fine, which will be booked as an exceptional item in its second-half accounts, would not affect its 2012 earnings and free cash flow targets.

Until now, the Commission's biggest antitrust penalty had been a 1.38 billion euro fine imposed on participants in a car glass cartel in 2008.

The Commission's sanctions followed a total fine of 128.74 million euros levied last year against four producers of the glass used in cathode-ray tubes.   Continued...

 
The logo of Philips is seen at the company's entrance in Brussels September 11, 2012. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir