regulators fine Infineon, Samsung, Philips 138 million
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[September 03, 2014] By
Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union antitrust
regulators fined Philips, Samsung Electronics and
Infineon Technologies a total of 138 million euros
($181.28 million) on Wednesday for fixing prices of
chips used in mobile SIM cards.
The European Commission, which raided the companies in October 2008,
said the cartel took place between 2003 and 2005, with the companies
also colluding on customers, production capacity and future market
Infineon received the biggest penalty at 82.8 million euros. The
German chipmaker rejected the EU finding, saying it would take its
case to Europe's second highest court in Luxembourg.
Samsung was fined 35.12 million euros and Philips 20.15 million
Philips, which spun off its former semiconductor unit into an
independent company NXP Semiconductors in 2006, said the EU charge
against the unit was unfounded and that it too would challenge the
decision in court.
Renesas Technology, a joint venture between Hitachi Ltd and
Mitsubishi Electric that was acquired by Renesas Electronics Corp in
2010, escaped a fine of more than 51 million euros as it was the
first to alert the EU competition authority about the cartel.
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The chips produced by the companies are also used in bank cards,
identity cards, passports and pay TV cards. The companies had sought
to settle the case in return for a 10 percent cut in the fines but
talks subsequently broke down.
($1= 0.7613 euro)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Thomas Escritt
in Amsterdam and Maria Sheehan in Frankfurt; Editing by Julia
Fioretti and Michael Urquhart)
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