Sony and others fined for price-fixing in France

Sony will appeal a fine for price fixing after a French retailer said a Sony representative had branded its discounting practices "an act of terrorism."

Sony will appeal a fine for price fixing, after a French retailer said a Sony representative had branded its discounting practices "an act of terrorism."

Sony's French subsidiary will appeal a decision by the competition regulator to fine it Euro 16 million (US$19 million) for fixing retail prices, company spokeswoman Delphine Viers said Thursday.

The Conseil de la concurrence also fined the French subsidiary of Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV Euro 16 million and Panasonic France, a subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial, Euro 2.4 million. The fines represent 1 percent of the companies annual revenues in France.

Representatives of Philips and Panasonic were not available Thursday to comment on the decision.

The Conseil found that the three manufacturers had colluded with their distributors to fix the retail price of their products by withholding or delaying deliveries to retailers that stepped out of line.

The regulator began its investigation following a complaint from a discount electronics retailer, SARL Avantage-TVHA, filed in May 1998. TVHA said the manufacturers pressured it to raise its prices in line with other retailers in late 1997, after it advertised discounts of up to 20 percent on televisions, video recorders, and hi-fi products.

Sony's then regional sales manager described TVHA's discounting as "an act of terrorism" because of the effect it would have on profit margins in the sector, according to a transcript of a conversation with TVHA staff published in the Conseil's report on the case on Monday. TVHA had a lawyer secretly record the meetings with the manufacturers, and supplied the recordings to the regulator. Transcripts of a number of the conversations appear in the 92-page report.

Viers declined to comment on the content of the report, saying that Sony would not comment on the case before its appeal had been heard.

The regulator also investigated Pioneer, Toshiba and Yamaha, but found insufficient evidence against them.

TVHA could not be contacted for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?