The European Commission [offical website] announced on Tuesday that it has fined [press release] ASUS, Phillips, Denon & Marantz and Pioneer a total of €111 million (USD $129 million) in four separate cases for online price fixing in violation of EU competition regulations.
The manufacturers are accused of compelling online retailers to offer their products at a minimum price under threats of sanctions or supply blockage. The commission says that the manufacturers would monitor price fluctuations and act if the price of their products dropped.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said:
As a result of the actions taken by these four companies, millions of European consumers faced higher prices for kitchen appliances, hair dryers, notebook computers, headphones and many other products. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules. Our decisions today show that EU competition rules serve to protect consumers where companies stand in the way of more price competition and better choice.
The company fined the most was ASUS who incured fines of up to €63 million, with Phillips following at €29 million and Denon & Marantz and Pioneer following at €10 and €7.7 million, respectively.
On July 18 the European Commission fined [JURIST report] Google a record €4.34 billion for violating other EU antitrust violations.