Samsung fined $47 mln for price fixing in Netherlands

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Amsterdam, Sep 29 (Businesshala) – Electronics maker Samsung (005930.KS) has been fined 40 million euros ($46.9 million) for price fixing in the Netherlands, Dutch competition watchdog ACM said on Wednesday.

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The market regulator said Samsung has raised the prices of its televisions in the Netherlands over the years, urging retailers to continually raise their prices if they are selling them below Samsung’s preferred market rate.

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The practice reduced competition among the seven largest online electronics stores in the Netherlands, ACM said, as Samsung made it clear to all retailers that their competitors would also follow its pricing policy.

Documents obtained by the regulator show that Samsung also reached out to retailers if their competitors complained about TVs being sold too cheap.

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“Samsung’s advice was not personal nor without consequence,” the watchdog said. “Its behavior distorted competition and raised prices for consumers.”

Samsung said it would appeal the fine, as it said it had not forced retailers to use its own price advice and that stores were always free to determine their own strategy.

But the regulator said Samsung should have been aware that its efforts to influence prices went far beyond normal guidance and was in fact a way to structurally determine the market value of its TVs.

($1 = 0.8537 Euro)

Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Jason Neely

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