Online electronics retailers raided by EU antitrust officials

The raids were part of an ongoing investigation into possible anticompetitive agreements between electronics retailers and manufacturers

European Union antitrust investigators have raided the offices of a number of companies involved in the online sale of consumer electronics products, officials said Wednesday.

The raids, on March 10, were part of an ongoing investigation into possible anticompetitive agreements between electronics retailers and manufacturers, a European Commission spokesman said in an email.

"The Commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit anticompetitive agreements or concerted practices," he added.

The raids are a follow-up of inspections conducted in December 2013, when the Commission raided Samsung Electronics, Philips and electronics retailer Media-Saturn, among other companies.

The spokesman would not name the companies raided this month, nor say whether the Commission targeted the same companies as in 2013.

Samsung and Philips did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Staff at Media-Saturn, one of Europe's largest electronic retailers, would not immediately comment.

The investigation does not concern three other major electronics retailers, Dixons-Carphone, Darty and Euronics, staff reached at those companies said.

The Commission has grounds to suspect the companies raided have restricted online sales of consumer electronics products and small domestic appliances, which might lead to higher prices for consumers or the unavailability of products in some online shops.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step in investigations into suspected anticompetitive practices. There is no legal deadline for these investigations to be completed. If a company is found to have participated in an anti-competitive agreement, it can be fined up to 10 percent of its annual turnover.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags legalphilipsconsumer electronicsantitrusteuropean commissionSamsung Electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

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.

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?