Six tech firms are sharing a fine of $1.93 billion after the EU’s antitrust regulator found them guilty of price fixing. Philips, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Toshiba and Technicolor (no, me neither) will all have to get their chequebooks out. A seventh, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, was excused a fine on account of its fine whistle-blowing technique.
Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s antitrust chief, said that he had found evidence of two cartels between 1996 and 2006. One restricted the sale of TVs, while the other controlled the supply and sale of color displays found in desktop monitors. Documents relating to the matter were labeled “Please dispose the following document after reading it.” One even said: “Everybody is requested to keep it as secret as it would be serious damage if it is open to customers or European Commission (sic).”