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Netherlands Regulator Slaps Fine Of $47 Mln On Samsung For Price Fixing

Netherlands Regulator Slaps Fine Of $47 Mln On Samsung For Price Fixing
The Dutch competition watchdog ACM fined South Korean electronics giant Samsung 40 million euros ($46.9 million) on Wednesday over charges of price fixing in the Netherlands.
According to the market regulator, Samsung had intentionally driven up prices of its television sets in the Netherlands for a number of years. The company used to continually ask retail shops selling its television sets to raise their pricing if shops the company found that the shops were found to be selling products below the targeted market rate for such products of the company.
According to the ACM, this approach harmed competitiveness in the market and among seven of the top online electronics stores in the Netherlands since Samsung made it apparent to all merchants engaged that their rivals would also adopt Samsung's pricing strategy.
According to documents obtained by the regulator, retailers were also contacted by Samsung if there were complaints from its rivals of television sets being sold too cheap.
"Samsung's advice was not individual and not without consequences," the watchdog said. "Its behaviour distorted competition and raised prices for consumers."
Samsung said it will fight the decision of the punishment and the fine, and claimed that it had never forced merchants to follow its pricing guidance and strategy. The company also claimed that retail outlets selling its products were always free to choose their own approach with respect to pricing.
However, the regulator stated that Samsung should have recognised that its efforts to influence pricing in the country went well beyond routine recommendations that are typically made by companies to retailers and were actually a means for the South Korean company to structurally set the market prices of its televisions.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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