Philips is part of Brussels probe into online electronics sales cartel

Dutch electronics giant Philips is one of a number of companies being investigated as part of a European Commission probe into a suspected online sales cartel.

Philips was visited by the European cartel authorities on Tuesday and said in a statement it will fully cooperate with the inquiry.

The commission has not made the names and locations of companies under investigation public. According to news agency Bloomberg, EU officials also visited Samsung and the Media-Saturn group, which is active in the Netherlands with the Media Markt and Saturn chains.

Smaller items

The ‘unannounced inspections’ were part of an investigation into a ‘number of companies active in the manufacture, distribution and retail of consumer electronics products and small domestic appliances’.

The commission said it suspected the companies may have put in place restrictions on online sales of consumer electronics and domestic equipment.

‘These restrictions, if proven, may lead to higher consumer prices or the unavailability of products through certain online sales channels,’ the statement said.

At the end of 2012, Philips was fined €500m by Brussels following an investigation into fixing the prices of television and computers. Philips is appealing against that ruling.

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