Consumer watchdog fines Samsung €39m for television price fixing


Dutch consumer watchdog ACM has fined Samsung over €39m for influencing the online prices of television sets between 2013 and 2018.

The ACM says Samsung used ‘price recommendations’ to make sure that seven online retailers increased their prices to the level they wanted to see.

‘Samsung knew it could not compel retailers to increase their prices which is why Samsung associates used the term ‘recommendations’,’ ACM chairman Martijn Snoep said. ‘But, in reality, those recommendations were neither personal nor non-binding. Samsung’s practices disrupted competition at the retail level, and resulted in higher prices for consumers.’

Samsung monitored retailers’ prices using automated web crawlers. If the company saw prices were lower than its desired market price, it would contact the retailer and urge them to increase their prices via email and Whatsapp.

‘The price of new television models quickly drop after their introductions on the market,’ the ACM said. ‘Samsung sought to counter this process by coordinating prices with retailers… protecting its own margins as well as the retailers’ margins at the expense of consumers.’

Samsung said it is appealing against the fine.

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