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November 27, 2009

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EU probe alleges cartel run by Philips

EUROPEAN Union antitrust regulators have charged Royal Philips Electronics NV and others with running a cartel to fix the price of cathode ray tubes used in televisions and computer monitors.

The European Commission did not name any of the companies it had charged. It said companies can defend themselves in writing and at an oral hearing before it decides to levy fines which can be as high as 10 percent of annual global turnover for each year the cartel operated.

Philips said it "intends to continue assisting the regulatory authorities in these investigations."

The EU has fined companies involved in cartels billions of euros in recent years, saying its crackdown on illegal agreements that limit competition has saved European consumers over 7.6 billion euros (US$11.4 billion) from 2005 to 2007.

In July, regulators also charged Philips with fixing the price of liquid crystal display monitors. Philips said it would oppose the allegation that it was jointly liable for a cartel operated by South Korea's LG Display.


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