BREAKING NEWS: Samsung Fined $63M For Price Fixing
Samsung has been fined a whopping $63M for price fixing TV’s.
The South Korean manufacturer of premium TV’s was hit with the massive 40 million Euro, fine after Dutch CE retailers started discounting Samsung much to the angst of Samsung executives who urged them to hold onto margin.
in one email it appears that a Samsung representative emailed a retailer to say: “There is really no need to ‘burn’ money with the model. Would you like to watch this again? Advice sales Eur 799.00”. The retailer replies, “Thanks for the tip.”
The Dutch competition watchdog ACM hit Samsung hard claiming the Company had been pushing up the price of TVs in the Netherlands for years.
Currently in Australian retailers are holding onto margin in TV’s due to limited supply.
The Dutch regulator said that Samsung management became annoyed because retailers chose to discount out models below the recommended retail price.
This practice undermined competition between seven of the largest online electronics stores in the Netherlands, the ACM said, as Samsung made it clear to all retailers involved that their competitors would also follow its pricing policy.
“Samsung knew it could not compel retailers to increase their prices which is why Samsung associates used the term ‘recommendations’,” ACM chairman Martijn Snoep said.
“But, in reality, those recommendations were neither personal nor non-binding.
Samsung’s practices disrupted competition at the retail level and resulted in higher prices for consumers.” he said.
According to ACM, Samsung “sought to counter this process by coordinating prices with retailers”, therefore protecting its own margins as well as the retailers “at the expense of the consumer”.
Samsung has already said it will appeal the fine and maintained that it never forced retailers to adopt its price advice.