Press conference by Joaquín Almunia on producers of TV and computer monitor tubes € 1.47 billion for two decade-long cartels fined by the EC
On 5 December 2012 during a press conference, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, announced that the European Commission decided to fine seven international groups of companies a total of € 1 470 515 000 for participating in either one or both of two distinct cartels in the sector of cathode ray tubes ("CRT").
For almost ten years, between 1996 and 2006, these companies fixed prices, shared markets, allocated customers between themselves and restricted their output. One cartel concerned colour picture tubes used for televisions and the other one colour display tubes used in computer monitors. The cartels operated worldwide.
Chunghwa, LG Electronics, Philips and Samsung SDI participated in both cartels, while Panasonic, Toshiba, MTPD (currently a Panasonic subsidiary) and Technicolor (formerly Thomson) participated only in the cartel for television tubes. These cartels for cathode ray tubes are 'textbook cartels': they feature all the worst kinds of anticompetitive behaviour that are strictly forbidden to companies doing business in Europe, the Vice-President told journalists. PHOTO