Dutch watchdog fines Samsung over TV prices

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THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch consumer watchdog has fined Samsung more than € 39 million ($ 45 million) for…

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch consumer watchdog has fined Samsung more than € 39 million ($ 45 million) for exerting “undue influence” on the price of televisions sold by online retailers. The company has promised to appeal the decision.

The Dutch Consumers and Markets Authority on Wednesday announced the fine for the Benelux branch of the electronics giant.

“Under the guise of ‘price recommendations’, Samsung has made sure that retailers raise their prices to the market price desired by Samsung,” ACM Chairman of the Board Martijn Snoep said in a statement.

“Samsung’s practices have disrupted competition at the retail level and resulted in higher prices for consumers,” he added.

This practice was intended to influence the prices of new models of televisions which generally drop quickly after their introduction to the market.

“Through this price coordination, Samsung has protected its own margins as well as the margins of retailers to the detriment of consumers,” said ACM.

The watchdog said it seized evidence of WhatsApp conversations and emails during dawn raids.

Samsung said in a written reaction that it would appeal.

“We are disappointed with ACM’s decision, as we believe that Samsung Electronics Benelux… has not violated competition laws in the Dutch TV market as claimed by ACM,” said the company.

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