© tom_schmucker Business | December 16, 2016

EU Court dismisses Philips and Infineon's actions against cartel fines

Back in September 2014, the EU Commission imposed fines totalling approximately EUR 138 million on four companies for cartel activities on the smart card chip market between 2003 to 2005.
The cartel functioned through a network of bilateral contacts and exchanges among the undertakings of commercially sensitive information relating in particular to prices.

The Commission initiated settlement discussions with Renesas, Samsung and Philips in April 2011 – these discussions were discontinued in October 2012.

As regards the calculation of the fine, Renesas was granted immunity for having provided informed of the cartels existence. Infineon obtained a reduction of 20% because its participation was limited to the arrangements with Samsung and Renesas, while Samsung obtained a reduction of 30% for having provided information with – as the Commission puts it – significant added value. Thus Infineon received a fine of EUR 82.78 million and Phillips received fines of EUR 20.15 million.

However, Infineon and Philips did seek to get an annulment of the Commission’s decision. The companies brought actions before the General Court of the European Union contesting firstly, the existence of a cartel, and, secondly, the amounts of the fines imposed on them.

But on December 15, the Court dismissed the actions and intends to uphold the fines imposed on both companies by the Commission.
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