The Commission has imposed fines on Sony, Fuji and Maxell totaling €74.8 million for a price fixing cartel for professional videotapes in Europe. The companies, whose combined market share amounts to more than 85 percent of the professional videotape market, allegedly held regular meetings between 1999 and 2002 where they agreed to raise and control prices. Sony’s fine was increased by 30 percent because one of its employees refused to answer questions during the Commission’s investigation and another employee shredded relevant evidence during the dawn raids. Fuji’s and Maxell’s fines were reduced by 40 percent and 20 percent respectively under the Commission’s Leniency program.

This case marks the first instance where the Commission has applied its 2006 Guidelines for determining fines in antitrust cases. The Guidelines may be downloaded from the European Commission’s website at: http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/antitrust/legislation/fines.html.