European Commission


European Commission press release summaries

This file contains relevant information regarding the cathode ray tube (CRT) cartel. The items below have been made public by the European Commission.

1. Press release 5 December, 2012

Seven international organisations have been fined by the European Commission for participating in one or both cartels in the cathode ray tube (CRT) sector. Because the cartels operated worldwide, the illegal activities affect the entire European Economic Area. These cartels have been active for almost 10 years. According to the Vice President of the Commission, the CRT is the most important component of an appliance and determines 50 to 70% of its price. Not only were price agreements made, agreements were also made regarding the market, sensitive customer information and production capacity. The level of the fine is based on such things as sales figures, the seriousness of the behaviour and its duration. Discounts on the fines have been extended on the basis of cooperation of the companies involved. One organisation has received a discount because it cannot pay the fine. As soon as the Commission's decision becomes irreversible, this will result in national procedures regarding trading illegality of the companies involved.

Press Release European Commission

2. Memo 26 November, 2009

The European Commission has taken formal steps to investigate cartel-forming of the cathode ray tube (CRT) sector. It did this by sending a so-called Statement of Objections. The suspects could respond by presenting all the facts that are relevant to their defence.

Memo 26 November, 2009

3. Memo 8 November 2007

The European Commission confirms that it has carried out unannounced raids. It suspects cathode ray tube producers of cartel-forming.

Memo 08 November, 2007

4. Memo: new guidelines for determining fine amounts (June 2006)

New guidelines were drawn up in 2006 regarding imposing fines on companies that break EU rules. In order to strengthen the deterrent, the fines have been increased and can amount to10% of the annual turnover. Within this limit, the fine can be based on 30% of the sales figures relating to the offence, multiplied by the number of years of participation. Irrespective of the duration of the offence, an ‘entry fee’ can be imposed. The entry fee will be added to the amount, which is made up of 30% of the sales figures times the number of years of participation and can amount to 15 to 25% of the sales figures involved. The entry fee will mainly be imposed on cartels and is intended as an additional deterrent against forming such cartels. The single fact that an organisation is involved in a cartel will cost it at least a minimum of 15 to 25% of the annual sales figures involved. Companies that make the same error again will be punished more severely: the fine may then be increased to a maximum 100%.

Memo June, 2006