Menu
Samsung, Philips among companies raided by EU antitrust investigators

Samsung, Philips among companies raided by EU antitrust investigators

Inspections are part of inquiry into anticompetitive practices

Samsung, Philips and electronics retailer Media-Saturn were among the companies raided by European officials this week as part of an investigation into possible anticompetitive agreements about online sales of electronics.

The companies disclosed on Friday that they were targets of the raid. The European Commission has confirmed that the raids took place on Tuesday, when officials initiated unannounced inspections in several European Union countries. The Commission did not disclose the names of the companies under investigation.

"The Commission has grounds to suspect that the companies subject to the inspections may have put in place restrictions on online sales of consumer electronic products and small domestic appliances," the Commission said in a news release. The companies concerned may have violated E.U. antitrust rules that prohibit anticompetitive agreements, it added.

If these restrictions are indeed in force, they may lead to higher consumer prices or the unavailability of products through certain online sales channels, the Commission said. A Commission competition official declined to say Friday what those restrictions are.

The official also declined to disclose which companies were raided and how many are involved. The Commission does not divulge the names of companies being investigated this early in an inquiry, the official said, adding that sometimes companies will disclose their involvement voluntarily.

Samsung, Philips and Media-Saturn, a company with net revenue of €21 billion (US$28.7 billion) that operates electronics retail brands Saturn, Media Markt and Redcoon, acknowledged on Friday their involvement in the inspections but declined to comment on details about the investigation.

Samsung is cooperating fully with the European Commission, a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. She declined to comment further.

Philips was visited by Commission officials earlier this week, a spokesman said in an emailed statement, adding that Philips is fully cooperating with the inspection. The company declined further comment.

"We can confirm that the EU-Commission has visited us on December, 3rd," a Media-Saturn spokeswoman said in an emailed statement, adding that Media-Saturn too is fully cooperating with the official authorities. "We do not want to disclose any further details at this moment," she added.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step in an antitrust investigation, the Commission said. However, the fact that the Commission is conducting an inspection does not mean that a company is guilty of anticompetitive behavior, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself, it said. There is no deadline set to complete the investigation, the Commission added.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags legalantitrustSamsung ElectronicsMedia-Saturn

Brand Post

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments