Philips, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Toshiba and Technicolor fined £1.2 billion for price fixing
A selection of the world's biggest TV manufacturers have been fined a record sum of 1.47 billion euros (£1.2 billion) for fixing prices of cathode-ray tubes between 1996 and 2006. The EU Commission found Philips, Samsung, LG, Toshiba, Panasonic and French company Technicolor complicit in forming cartels in order to fix prices and divide up territories.
Dutch firm Philips was fined most heavily, being told to cough up 313.4 million euros (£255 million) for its part in the scandal, while LG must pay the equivalent of £240 million. Panasonic has been fined £128 million, Samsung £122.5 million, Technicolor £31 million, and Toshiba £23 million.
A joint venture of Philips and LG has been penalised to the tune of £318 million and two Panasonic joint ventures have also been hit by the judgement.
While it was the technology inside the CRT televisions of the day that was subject to the price fixing, the end cost would have been transferred on to the consumer. The cartels responsible are said to have met in Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Asia for "green meetings". The name comes from the fact that they would end in a round of golf afterwards.
Taiwanese manufacturer Chunghwa Picture Tubes escaped a fine as it was the one to blow the whistle on the others.
Philips chief executive Frans van Houten said that the company would challenge the "disproportionate and unjustified penalty". The manufacturer sold the offending arm of the business in 2001.