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Toshiba, Sony, Samsung Cartel Fine Upheld

Toshiba, Sony and Samsung were unsuccessful in their bid to fight a 2015 cartel fine issued by the European Commission.

The EU fined five companies A$173.6 million for colluding in procurement tenders for optical disc drives produced by Dell and Hewlett Packard.

Among those involved in the cartel were Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology, a joint venture of Toshiba and Samsung Electronics, who copped the biggest fine; Hitachi-LG Data Storage; Sony; Sony Optiarc (a JV between Sony and NEC), and Quanta Storage.

The finding were appealed, but upheld by the General Court in 2019, then appealed to the EU Court of Justice, who again dismissed the challenge.

“None of the elements relied on by the participants in the cartel, nor any ground of public policy, justifies it making use of its unlimited jurisdiction to reduce that amount,” the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice said with regard to the fines.

The court did find that some elements of the decision was unjustified.

“The Commission failed to satisfy its obligation to state reasons by finding that, in addition to their participation in a single and continuous infringement, the undertakings concerned also participated in several separate infringements,” they said.


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