Sony, Fuji and Maxell were fined more than €74 million for agreeing price increases of professional videotapes between 1999 and 2002 in contravention of Article 81 EC. The cartel affected TV stations and independent producers of TV programmes and advertising films who used Betacam SP and Digital Betacam professional videotapes. The European Commission’s (Commission) investigation commenced in May 2002 with surprise inspections at the parties’ premises. Evidence was found of eleven meetings between Sony, Fuji and Maxell during which prices were discussed and sensitive commercial data was exchanged. Sony’s fine was increased by 40% because one of its employees refused to answer the Commission’s oral questions during its inspection and another employee shredded documents. Fuji and Maxell both had their fines reduced under the Commission’s leniency programme for co-operation with the investigation.