Brussels fines Philips €500m for its role in cathode ray tube cartels

BRUSSELS – Dutch electronics giant Philips is one of seven companies fined a total €1.47bn by the European Commission for operating cathode ray tube cartels. The total of fines is the biggest antitrust penalty in its history

The two worldwide cartels operated between 1996 and 2006 and involved fixing prices, sharing markets, allocating customers and restricting output, the commission said in a statement.One cartel concerned colour picture tubes used for televisions and the other colour display tubes used in computer monitors, the commission said. Philips, Chunghwa, LG Electronics, Philips and Samsung SDI participated in both cartels.Philips was fined €313m for its role in one cartel and a further €392m together with partner LG Electronics for its role in the other.Between 1996 and 2006 they met in Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and in Asia for “green meetings”, so-called because they often ended in a round of golf.Philips said it will appeal against the ruling. ‘We believe the fine which relates to a business that was divested in 2001 is disproportionate and unjustified,’ chief executive Frans van Houten said in a statement.

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