Panasonic to appeal EU antitrust price-fixing fine

Panasonic to appeal EU antitrust price-fixing fine

Summary: Panasonic has announced that it plans to appeal the European Commission's decision to fine the firm over television price-fixing.

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Panasonic has announced it will appeal the European Commission's decision to fine the firm for anticompetitive practices.

european-commission panasonic antitrust fine appeal

The EC's allegations state that the electronics maker conspired with other companies -- including its subsidiary MT Picture Display (MTPD), Toshiba and Philips -- to fix market prices for television and computer monitor cathode ray-tubes to restrict competition.

The European Commission has imposed a fine of €157.48 million euros on Panasonic. Panasonic and MTPD are jointly and severally liable for €7.89 million euros while Panasonic, MTPD and Toshiba Corp. are jointly and severally liable for €86.74 million euros.

By allegedly fixing the prices of cathode ray-tubes, Panasonic would have been in breach of European competition laws. The EC claim that executives representing each firm met frequently until 2006 in order to fix pricing and take a slice each of the market. The business has since fallen due to the introduction of flat-panel displays.

The Japanese firm and MTPD have left the cathode ray-tube business, and plan to appeal the decision to "seek fair judgement."

Panasonic said in a statement it will appeal the decision by going through the European General Court, as it believes the fine imposed is "factually and legally erroneous as it applies to Panasonic and MTPD."

The fines imposed on every firm involved -- Philips, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Toshiba, Samsung SDI and Technicolor has made the fine total, reaching over a billion euros, one of the biggest antitrust penalties in memory.

Topics: Hardware, Tech Industry, IT Policies

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