EU antitrust regulators on Tuesday announced penalties totaling 111.2 million euros (US$130 million) on Philips, Asus, Pioneer and Denon & Marantz for alleged breach of competition rules.
The consumer electronics companies firms were slapped with fines after they were found to have imposed fixed or minimum resale prices on online retailers in violation of EU regulations.
The ruling followed a 17-month probe by the European Commission as part of its crackdown on online sales practices such as price restrictions based on a customer’s location or nationality, Reuters reports.
The investigation, which began in February last year, was one of three that covered a total of 15 companies in the consumer electronics, video game and hotel sectors, according to the report.
Philips, Asus, Pioneer and D&M were found to have restricted the ability of online retailers to set their own prices for products such as kitchen appliances, notebook computers and hi-fi products, insisting on fixed or minimum resale prices.
Pioneer was also found by the EU to have sought to limit the ability of its retailers to sell across borders.
The Japanese firm was said to have engaged in illegal practices in 12 EU countries, while the other three companies did so in one or two nations.
“As a result of the actions taken by these four companies, millions of European consumers faced higher prices for kitchen appliances, hair dryers, notebook computers, headphones and many other products,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
Asus was fined 63.5 million euros, Philips 29.8 million euros, Pioneer 10.2 million euros and D&M 7.7 million euros, according to the report.
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