FTC penalizes Philips, Sony and Taiyo


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 - Page 12

The Fair Trade Commission yesterday imposed monetary penalties on Royal Philips Electronics NV, Sony Corp and Taiyo Yuden Co for violating fair trade rules and monopolizing the recordable media market.

Philips, Europe’s largest maker of consumer electronics, was fined NT$3.5 million by the commission, while Sony received a fine of NT$1 million and Japan’s Taiyo Yuden was fined NT$500,000, the FTC said in a statement.

From 1999 to 2001, there was an increase in global demand for CD-Rs as more consumers began recording video or songs on CDs on personal computers.

The three foreign companies refused Taiwanese manufacturers’ requests to lower royalties on CD-R technology although growing demand had driven down CD-R selling prices, the FTC said.

The companies also failed in contracts to fully disclose information such as the expiry date of royalties and the use of technology and related content, the commission said.

As a result, the FTC found as early as 2001 that they had violated fair trade rules and formed a monopoly.

However, the lawsuit dragged on for years. The commission announced the penalties yesterday after a judgment by the High Court.

CD-R technology allows users to record digital information onto a compact disc. Philips introduced the discs in 1988.