The European Union fined six companies, including Toshiba Corp and Panasonic Corp for participating in what they call a global cathode ray tube cartel for over a decade. The EU ordered fines of €1.47 billion (about ¥160 billion) for all companies involved.
The European Commission claims that seven consumer appliance companies in Asia and Europe violated EU competition laws by setting prices, dividing up the market amongst themselves and adjusting cathode ray tube production from 1996 to 2006 for their own gains. Panasonic received a fine of €157.47 million (¥17 billion), Toshiba was fined €28.04 million (¥3 billion) and the four other companies, including South Korea’s Samsung SDI and LG Electronics, also received hefty fines. The 7th company in the alleged cartel, a Taiwanese electronics maker did not receive a fine because they were the ones who blew the whistle on the cartel to the EU.
The EU condemned the actions of the companies involved, citing that the top executives were involved in the price-fixing scheme. Both Japanese companies have questioned the findings of the committee. Panasonic is studying how to deal with the findings and in fact is considering filing a lawsuit in the EU court. Toshiba reasserted its stand that they did not violate any EU competition law.
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