Samsung fined 39 million euros in the Netherlands

South Korean group Samsung has been fined more than € 39 million from the Netherlands Consumers and Markets Authority (ACM) for influencing online prices for its televisions, the body said, this Wednesday in a press release.

“From January 2013 to December 2018, Samsung exerted undue influence on the online prices of televisions sold by seven retailers.”

Price coordination with retailers

The tech giant, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, has said it is disappointed and will appeal the decision, Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported. “We believe that Samsung has not violated the competition rules in the Dutch television market,” said the group, quoted by NOS.

The prices of new models of televisions drop quickly after they enter the market. Samsung was trying to counter this by coordinating prices with retailers, the ACM explained. Thus, “Samsung was protecting its own margins and the margins of retailers to the detriment of the consumer,” she continued.

Higher prices

“Under the guise of ‘price recommendations’, Samsung has ensured that retailers raise their prices to the market price desired” by the group, said Martijn Snoep, chairman of ACM, quoted in the statement.

Samsung knew it couldn’t force retailers to raise their prices. The group therefore monitored the prices charged by retailers and informed them of those of their competitors, encouraging them to increase them to remain competitive, he continued. “Samsung’s behavior has distorted competition at the retail level and resulted in higher prices for consumers,” added Martijn Snoep.

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