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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Peter Sayer

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?