Panasonic, Samsung, LG Philip Units Fined for Price-fixing

Charged with running a cartel

Japan's fair trade watchdog on Oct. 7 announced $37 million in fines for Panasonic and two South Korean rivals for running a cartel in the television industry, officials said.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission announced penalties totalling 3.32 billion yen for cathode-ray tube display firms affiliated with Panasonic, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.

It slapped 1.8 billion yen in penalties on four units of Panasonic, 1.37 billion yen on two Samsung firms and 151 million yen on LG Philips Displays Korea.

The companies allegedly met regularly every two months from 2003 and jointly set their minimum target prices for cathode-ray tube displays, the commission said.

"It substantively restricted competition in sales of certain types of cathode-ray tubes, which ran against public interest," the commission said.

A Panasonic spokeswoman said the company took the decision "sincerely" but may consider appealing it.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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