Brussels: Philips, LG Electronics, Samsung SDI and three other firms were fined a record €1.47 billion ($1.92 billion) by EU antitrust regulators on Wednesday for fixing prices of TV cathode-ray tubes in two cartels lasting nearly a decade.
The biggest penalty, of €313.4 million, was imposed on Dutch-based Philips, followed by LG Electronics with €295.6 million.
The European Commission fined Panasonic Corp €157.5 million, Samsung SDI €150.8 million, Toshiba Corp. €28 million, and French company Technicolor €38.6 million .
Two Panasonic joint ventures were also fined. Taiwanese firm Chunghwa Picture Tubes blew the whistle on the cartel and escaped a fine.
“These cartels for cathode ray tubes are ‘textbook cartels’: they feature all the worst kinds of anticompetitive behaviour that are strictly forbidden to companies doing business in Europe,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.
He will hold a news conference on the case at 1130 GMT on Wednesday.
The Commission raided the companies in late 2007.