01 December 2007

EU - Commission fines professional videotape producers over €74 million for price fixing cartel

The European Commission has imposed a total of € 74 790 000 fines on Sony, Fuji and Maxell for fixing prices for professional videotapes sold to customers in Europe, in violation of the EC Treaty’s ban on cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 81). Between 1999 and 2002, Sony, Fuji and Maxell managed to raise or otherwise control prices through a series of regular meetings and other illicit contacts. Sony's fine has been increased by 30% for obstructing the Commission's investigation during on-site inspections at its premises. Fuji's and Maxell's fines are reduced by 40% and 20% respectively because they co-operated with the investigation. For the calculation of the fines, the Commission applied for the first time its new 2006 Guidelines.