The European Commission has fined seven international groups of companies a total of
€ 1 470 515 000 for participating in either one or both of two distinct cartels in the sector of cathode ray tubes ("CRT"). For almost ten years, between 1996 and 2006, these companies fixed prices, shared markets, allocated customers between themselves and restricted their output. One cartel concerned colour picture tubes used for televisions and the other one colour display tubes used in computer monitors. The cartels operated worldwide. The infringements found by the Commission therefore cover the entire European Economic Area (EEA). Chunghwa, LG Electronics, Philips and Samsung SDI participated in both cartels, while Panasonic, Toshiba, MTPD (currently a Panasonic subsidiary) and Technicolor (formerly Thomson) participated only in the cartel for television tubes.
2006 Leniency Notice for the two cartels, as it was the first to reveal their existence to the
Commission. Other companies received reductions of their fines for their cooperation in
the investigation under the Commission's leniency programme.
Flattening demand response products, in 1997, the company is Taiwan's first lead in the introduction of large-size TFT-LCD production technology, prelude to Taiwan display into the flattened CPT for the top ten worldwide LCD display panel ( TFT-LCD ) and CRT ( CRT ) one of the factory.
After more than the loss of at least ten years before the company is not listed; Lin Zhenyuan served as chairman of the early once a turnaround per share benefit was as high as seven yuan NT , Tatung important reinvestment profit sources. Listing for the first three generations of line production in Taiwan panel makers, due to the subsequent expansion has slowed down, unable to catch up with AU Optronics , Chi Mei Optoelectronics manufacturers; Furthermore, have to bear the loss of CRT plant depreciation; therefore, lead to long-term performance of appetite, loss again and again, the share price has long hovered in the low-grade.
However, in order to expand the layout of the companies in the Chinese mainland market, the company has been through shares Xoceco way to enter the mainland. In addition, in September 2007, CPT, the introduction of private equity funds to improve the company's capital structure.
Decision in 2010 to 60% capital reduction to knock down the loss of nearly one billion NT dollars, avoid value per share is less than $ 5, in order to save the CPT fate into the full delivery shares. This event led to the explosive amount of 4/9 170,000 gapped lower limit.
Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: "These
cartels for cathode ray tubes are 'textbook cartels': they feature all the worst kinds of
anticompetitive behaviour that are strictly forbidden to companies doing business in
Europe. Cathode ray tubes were a very important component in the making of television and computer screens. They accounted for 50 to 70% of the price of a screen. This gives an indication of the serious harm this illegal behaviour has caused both to television and computer screen producers in the EEA, and ultimately the harm it caused to the European consumers over the years".
The two CRT cartels are among the most organised cartels that the Commission has
investigated. For almost 10 years, the cartelists carried out the most harmful anticompetitive
practices including price fixing, market sharing, customer allocation, capacity
and output coordination and exchanges of commercial sensitive information. The cartelists
also monitored the implementation, including auditing compliance with the capacity restrictions by plant visits in the case of the computer monitor tubes cartel.
Top management level meetings, dubbed "green(s) meetings" by the cartelists themselves because they were often followed by a golf game, designed the orientations for the two cartels. Preparation and implementation were carried out through lower level meetings,
often referred to as "glass meetings", on a quarterly, monthly, sometimes even weekly basis. Meetings were held in various locations in Asia (Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, etc.) and Europe (Amsterdam, Budapest, Glasgow, Paris,
Rome). The cartels operated worldwide.
Multilateral meetings usually started with a review of demand, production, sales and
capacity in the main sales areas, including Europe; then prices were discussed, including
for individual customers, i.e. TV and computer manufacturers. They had therefore a direct
impact on customers in the European Economic Area (EEA), ultimately harming final
consumers. The cartelists were trying to address the decline of the CRT market in a
collusive way, to the detriment of consumers. For example, one document recording the
cartel discussions spells out clearly: "producers need to avoid price competition through
controlling their production capacity".
The investigation also revealed that the companies were well aware they were breaking the law. For instance, in a document found during the Commission's inspections, a warning goes as follows: "Everybody is requested to keep it as secret as it would be serious damage if it is open to customers or European Commission". The participants were
therefore taking precautions to avoid being in possession of anticompetitive documents. Some documents spelled out, for example: "Please dispose the following document after reading it".
Name of undertaking
Reduction under the Leniency Notice (%)
Fine for the TV tubes cartel1 (€)
Fine for the computer monitor tubes cartel1 (€)
81 424 000
69 418 000
150 842 000
240 171 000
73 185 000
313 356 000
179 061 000
116 536 000
295 597 000
Philips and LG Electronics2
30% (reduction only for Philips)
322 892 000
69 048 000
391 940 000
38 631 000
38 631 000
157 478 000
157 478 000
28 048 000
28 048 000
Panasonic, Toshiba and MTPD2
86 738 000
86 738 000
Panasonic and MTPD2
7 885 000
7 885 000
1 142 328 000
328 187 000
1 470 515 000