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Old 12-06-12, 06:10 AM   #1
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Post Europe fines TV, monitor makers $1.92 billion for pricing conspiracy

Cathode-ray tubes are on their way to becoming historical in technology terms, but to European antitrust regulators, they're very "now."

Seven companies were fined a total of ?1.47 billion, or $1.92 billion, for acting as cartels in TV and computer monitor tubes. The fined companies include LG Electronics, Philips, and Samsung, which were found to have fixed prices in both computer and TV monitor tubes. Panasonic, Toshiba, Panasonic subsidiary MTPD, and Technicolor (formerly Thomson) were found to have fixed prices only in the television space, according to areport in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

The companies are said to have set prices artificially, shared markets, and restricted their outputs, all to the detriment of consumers. The cartels date from the late 1990s. Today, CRT technology has mostly been falling by the wayside in favor of newer technologies that power flatscreen monitors and TVs, like LCD and plasma. But even as the CRT market declined and flatscreens took over, these firms controlled production in order to keep prices high, EU regulators toldthe AP today.

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