Philips shares are higher Tuesday, despite being among four firms hit with a fine for online price fixing. The EU Commission held a press conference outlining the details of the issues raised and the fines imposed.
The four firms hit with a collective €111.2 million fine were:
- Denon & Marantz.
By 1425 BST, Philips shares were 2.07% higher at €36.76. The stock has been moving lower over the past week or so.
EU fines Philips, others
The fine issued to the four consumer goods firms, followed a 17-month investigation into online price fixing for each company’s goods.
The EU Commission’s antitrust team found that all the companies breached EU rules on online selling, as they each imposed fixed or minimum resale prices on online sellers of their goods.
“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,” said EU commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager.
“This is illegal under EU antitrust rules. Our decisions today show that EU competition rules serve to protect consumers where companies stand in the way of more price competition and better choice,” she added.
Fine reduced for co-operation
The investigation found that with the use of sophisticated tools, each firm was able to monitor the resale activity of its goods online. Then, where a price drop was discovered, the firms intervened with the reseller.
While the fine is a substantial one, the EU Commission said it was reduced for each of the four firms, as they co-operated fully with its investigation.
“All four companies cooperated with the Commission by providing evidence with significant added value and by expressly acknowledging the facts and the infringements of EU antitrust rules,” the EU Commission said.
The breakdown of the fines is:
- Asus €63.5 million (includes 40% co-operation reduction)
- Denon & Marantz €7.7 million (40% reduction)
- Philips €29.8 million (40% reduction)
- Pioneer €10.2 million (50% reduction)