Philips, ASUS, Pioneer Hit With $100M+ Antitrust Fine
Philips, ASUS, Pioneer and Denon & Marantz have been hit with a combined US$130 million fine, following a 17-month investigation by the European Commission over online price fixing.
The news follows a crackdown by the EU over price restrictions based on a customer’s country of residence.
The four brands were found to have limited online retailers from setting their own prices, enforcing a fixed/minimum resale price.
The regulator also ruled Pioneer limited retailers’ ability to sell across country borders.
The European Commission found Pioneer operated illegally in 12 countries, with the remaining three brands breaching laws in one or two nations.
All four brands admitted to wrongdoings in return for 40% – 50% fine reductions.
As a penalty, ASUS was fined a whopping 63.5 million euros (~US$74 million), Pioneer 10.2 million euros (~US11.9 million), Philips 29.8 million euros (~US34 million) and Denon & Marantz 7.7 million euros (~US$8.9 million).
Beginning in February last year, the investigation was one of three cases encompassing a total of 15 companies.
In a statement, European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, asserted the companies’ actions forced higher prices on “millions of European consumers”.
The fine follows Google’s record-breaking 4.34 billion euro EU antitrust fine announced last week.