Philips, LG, Samsung Appeal Shares of EU’s Record Cartel Fines

Royal Philips Electronics NV, LG Electronics Inc. and a Samsung Electronics Co. unit appealed their shares of record European Union antitrust fines for plotting to fix prices of cathode-ray tubes used in TV screens and computer displays.

The trio, who were among the electronic companies ordered in December to pay 1.47 billion euros ($1.93 billion), filed appeals with the EU General Court in Luxembourg, the bloc’s second-highest tribunal. The appeals were confirmed by officials in the court’s press service, who aren’t allowed to be quoted by name, in line with its policy. Toshiba Corp. separately said it also appealed.

The companies conspired to fix prices amid a slide in sales of cathode-ray tubes after customers switched to slimmer liquid-crystal and plasma display sets, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Dec. 5. Antitrust regulators in the EU, Japan and South Korea raided companies in 2007 over concerns they colluded. Philips and Technicolor SA, previously known as Thomson SA, received objections in the EU probe in 2009.

Philips was fined 313.4 million euros, LG 295.6 million euros, plus a joint fine for both companies of 391.9 million euros. Samsung SDI Co. Ltd., an affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co., lodged an appeal against its 150.8 million-euro fine on Dec. 14, according to court filings.

Joost Akkermans, a spokesman for Amsterdam-based Philips, confirmed the appeal at the EU’s second highest court, declining to comment further. Samsung and LG representatives didn’t immediately respond to calls or e-mails seeking comment. Toshiba said in an e-mailed statement that it filed its appeal Feb. 20, declining to comment further.

Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. escaped a fine because it was the first to inform regulators of the cartel.

The cases are: T-92/13, Philips v. Commission; T-91/13, LG Electronics v. Commission; T-104/13, Toshiba v. Commission; T-84/13, Samsung SDI v. Commission.

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