A group of multi-national TV manufacturers who ran a cartel to fix the price of cathode ray tubes across the world has been fined a record £1.19 billion by the EU.

The EU found that the illegal cartel, which included Panasonic, Phillips, Samsung, Technicolour, Toshiba and LG Electrics fixed prices of the now-obsolete tubes, which accounted for 70% of the cost of a TV set, for 10 years between 1996 and 2006, when they were replaced by LCD and plasma technology. Secret meetings to determine prices took place on golf courses, the EU were told.

Under EU whistle-blowing arrangements cartel member Chunghwa of Taiwan escaped a fine, being the first to break ranks and reveal the cartel to the EU.

Folowing the action of the EU the regulators in China have also fined six companies £35 million for price fixing of LCD screens. The six are Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Samsung, LG Display, AU Optronics, Chimie InnoLux and HannStar Display and the Chinese regulators say the fixing took place between 2001 and 2006.

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