On 30 April 2009, the European Court of First Instance (CFI) handed down a Judgment which substantially reduced the fines imposed on Nintendo and one of its distributors. The fines were originally imposed in 2002, when the European Commission found that Nintendo of Europe GmBH (Nintendo) and seven of its distributors had colluded to maintain artificially high price levels for Nintendo consoles and games in parts of the European Union. Although the CFI dismissed many of Nintendo's claims on appeal, it did conclude that Nintendo's fine should be reduced by the same percentage as another participant, John Menzie Plc, since it had co-operated with the Commission's investigation to the same extent. Consequently, Nintendo's fine was reduced from around €167.8m to around €119.2m. In a related case, the CFI also reduced the fine imposed on CD-Contact Data (Nintendo's exclusive distributor in Belgium and Luxembourg) by 50% since, like the Portuguese distributor, Concentra, it had been a passive participant in the infringement. The most successful applicant however was Itochu Corp (of Japan). Its fine was annulled after the CFI accepted that the Commission had failed to prove that it exercised sufficient influence over the conduct of its Greek subsidiary Itochu Hellas (another Nintendo distributor).
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Nintendo and distributors win a reduction in their penalties
European Union June 19 2009
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