Infineon, Samsung face EU antitrust fines
Send a link to a friend
[June 25, 2014]
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU
regulators are poised to fine Philips, Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd and Infineon Technologies AG in the
coming weeks for fixing prices of chips used in mobile
SIM cards, two people familiar with the case said on
The case started with dawn raids on the companies by the European
Commission in October 2008. The European Union watchdog charged them
last year with taking part in a cartel.
The chips are also used in passports, bank cards, identity cards and
"The companies may be fined in late July or possibly September,"
said one of the sources, who declined to be named as the EU decision
is not yet public.
Officials with the commission, Philips and Infineon declined to
comment. Samsung officials were not immediately available for
comment. Philips said last year that the EU charges covered the
period 2003 to 2004 and involved its semiconductor business which it
has since sold.
The sources said Renesas Technology - a joint venture between
Hitachi Ltd and Mitsubishi Electric that was bought by Renesas
Electronics Corp in 2010 - would not be fined as it alerted the
regulator to the cartel. Renesas Electronics said it had not
publicly said it had told the regulator and was not aware that the
other companies would be fined.
Companies that breach EU rules can be fined up to 10 percent of
their global turnover. Dutch company Philips's 2013 turnover was
23.3 billion euros ($31.72 billion).
[to top of second column]
The chipmakers had initially sought to settle the case, which means
admitting guilt in return for a 10 percent cut in sanctions, but
talks broke down last year.
(Additional reporting by Harro Ten Wolde in FRANKFURT, Anthony
Deutsch in AMSTERDAM and Sophie Knight in TOKYO; Editing by Matt
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.