News Posts matching "antitrust"

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European Commission Fines Samsung, LG, Philips, Others € 1.47 Billion

The European Commission has fined seven international groups of companies a total of € 1,470,515,000 for participating in either one or both of two distinct cartels in the sector of cathode ray tubes ("CRT"). For almost ten years, between 1996 and 2006, these companies fixed prices, shared markets, allocated customers between themselves and restricted their output.

One cartel concerned colour picture tubes used for televisions and the other one colour display tubes used in computer monitors. The cartels operated worldwide. The infringements found by the Commission therefore cover the entire European Economic Area (EEA). Chunghwa, LG Electronics, Philips and Samsung SDI participated in both cartels, while Panasonic, Toshiba, MTPD (currently a Panasonic subsidiary) and Technicolor (formerly Thomson) participated only in the cartel for television tubes. Chunghwa received full immunity from fines under the Commission's 2006 Leniency Notice for the two cartels, as it was the first to reveal their existence to the Commission. Other companies received reductions of their fines for their cooperation in the investigation under the Commission's leniency programme.

European Commission Goes After 13 Optical Drive Makers for Price-Fixing

Optical disc drives are components buyers are least bothered about, when purchasing parts to build a PC, or replace a broken one. The EU's regulators have found something fishy even with companies making these roughly-20€ PC components. According to the European Commission (EC), 13 optical disc drive vendors may have conspired to fix prices of their products on a global scale, and that affects European consumers, as well.

The EC is investigating 13 drive suppliers, and 2 major PC OEMs (pre-built PC vendors), for conducting and participating in what is known as bid rigging scheme, a serious antitrust violation. In bid rigging schemes, the bidders and contractees conspire to rig their prices so that a particular supplier wins the bid. Penalties for such a violation include 10% of worldwide turnover set as fines.

Source: Maximum PC

Plantiffs' Counsel Announces that Federal Jury Finds Toshiba Fixed LCD Prices

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Pearson, Simon, Warshaw & Penny, LLP today announced that a federal court jury this morning found that Toshiba Corporation and its subsidiaries conspired with the world’s other leading manufacturers of Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Displays (“TFT-LCDs”) to raise and fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels and certain products. The jury awarded damages of $87 million. Federal antitrust law requires the trebling of these damages, resulting in a $261 million award against Toshiba.

Richard M. Heimann, co-lead counsel for plaintiffs, stated, “We are very pleased the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs and found that Toshiba violated the law, particularly in light of the government’s decision not to criminally prosecute Toshiba for its misconduct. The case demonstrates once again the critical role our civil justice system plays in holding corporations, no matter how powerful or where they are based in the world, accountable for violating U.S. antitrust laws.”

Toshiba Responds to Jury Verdict in a U.S. Class Action for LCD Price Fixing

Toshiba Corporation (Toshiba) and its subsidiary, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC), announced today that a jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco) has issued a verdict against Toshiba in the amount of US$87 million due to alleged antitrust practices in the LCD business. Given credits for settlements by other defendants, Toshiba expects that it will not have to pay any damages as a result of this verdict, even after trebling under U.S. antitrust laws.
This class action was filed in 2007 by direct purchasers of LCD panels and related products in the United States.

Toshiba has consistently maintained that there was no illegal activity on its part in the LCD business in the United States, and Toshiba continues to hold that view. While Toshiba appreciates the jury's time and effort, Toshiba believes that the jury's verdict is in error as to the finding of wrongdoing on Toshiba's part. Toshiba plans to pursue all available legal avenues to correct that finding.

Seagate and LaCie Announce Signature of Binding Share Purchase Agreement

Following their press release issued on May 23, 2012 announcing exclusive negotiations and the receipt on June 8, 2012 of the opinion of the employee representative body of LaCie S.A., Seagate Technology plc and LaCie announced today that Seagate, Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO, and his affiliate, have entered into a binding share purchase agreement to purchase all of the shares of Philippe Spruch and his affiliate, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie for a provisional price of €4.05 per share (as may be adjusted downwards depending on the cash and debt position of LaCie at closing).

As previously announced, Ricol Lasteyrie & Associés have been appointed as independent expert by the Board of Directors of LaCie on June 23, 2012. The transaction has already received clearance from the US Antitrust Authorities but remains subject to regulatory approval in France (approval of foreign investments by the Ministry of Finance) and Germany (antitrust filing) and to other customary closing conditions.

European Commission Opens Antitrust Investigations Against Motorola Mobility

The European Commission has opened two formal antitrust investigations against Motorola Mobility Inc. The Commission will assess whether Motorola has abusively, and in contravention of commitments it gave to standard setting organisations, used certain of its standard essential patents to distort competition in the Internal Market in breach of EU antitrust rules. The opening of proceedings means that the Commission will examine the cases as a matter of priority. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigations.

Following complaints by Apple and Microsoft, the Commission will investigate, in particular, whether by seeking and enforcing injunctions against Apple's and Microsoft's flagship products such as iPhone, iPad, Windows and Xbox on the basis of patents it had declared essential to produce standard-compliant products, Motorola has failed to honour its irrevocable commitments made to standard setting organisations. In these commitments, Motorola engaged to license those standard-essential patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The Commission will examine whether Motorola's behaviour amounts to an abuse of a dominant market position prohibited by Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).

Google to Buy Motorola Mobility

Today Fox Business is reporting U.S. and European regulators approved Google Inc's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility on Monday and said they would keep a sharp eye on the web search giant to ensure patents critical to the telecom industry would be licensed at fair prices. The U.S. Justice Department also approved an Apple Inc -led consortium's purchase of a trove of patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel Networks.Both the Justice Department and European antitrust authorities said that they would monitor how patents are used to ensure they comply with antitrust rules. Antitrust enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are concerned that patents essential to ensuring communications devices sold by different companies work together are licensed for a reasonable fee.

New York Attorney General Agrees to Terminate Antitrust Lawsuit Against Intel

Intel Corporation and the New York Attorney General have agreed to terminate the lawsuit alleging violation of U.S. and state antitrust laws that was filed by the New York Attorney General in November 2009.

The agreement, which follows a December 2011 court ruling that greatly reduced the scope of the New York Attorney General's lawsuit, expressly states that Intel does not admit either any violation of law or that the allegations in the complaint are true, and it calls for no changes to the way Intel does business. The agreement includes a payment of $6.5 million from Intel that is intended only to cover some of the costs incurred by the New York Attorney General in the litigation.

European Commission opens antitrust proceedings against Samsung

The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether Samsung Electronics has abusively, and in contravention of a commitment it gave to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The opening of proceedings means that the Commission will examine the case as a matter of priority. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

In 2011, Samsung sought injunctive relief in various Member States' courts against competing mobile device makers based on alleged infringements of certain of its patent rights which it has declared essential to implement European mobile telephony standards. The Commission will investigate, in particular, whether in doing so Samsung has failed to honour its irrevocable commitment given in 1998 to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to license any standard essential patents relating to European mobile telephony standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The Commission will examine whether such behaviour amounts to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).
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