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EU record fine for TV and Computer price fixing cartel - Collective answers needed

05 December 2012
by BEUC -- last modified 05 December 2012

Following today’s record EU EUR 1.47 billion fine for a 20 year cartel run by television and computer material producers, the European Consumer Organisation highlights that a full answer is the introduction of a system of collective redress in the EU – streamlining legal actions to allow such victims to go to court as one.


Commissioner for Competition Mr Joaquin Almunia is expected to announce in the coming weeks whether this will be introduced in EU law. This latest cartel case proves the need.

BEUC Director General Monique Goyens commented:

"This record fine by the European Commission is only half a solution. The much more effective remedy to such cartels is enabling consumers to be able to take collective claims to court. At the end of today, not a euro cent will be seen by the most important parties to this – the victims themselves. The Commission is due in coming weeks make a final decision whether or not to introduce such a system for collective private damages claims. The TV cartel needs to be final proof that it is long overdue.

"15 EU countries have some form of collective actions system. Europe needs to act to ensure this should be open to all European consumers. Fines are often written off by companies as the cost of doing business. Therefore these practices keep repeating and consumers continue to lose out. If we want to clean up such practices in the Europe's Single Market, then collective actions are critical. Companies should be held to account and compensate consumers for illegal profit."

BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation has a membership of 40 well respected, independent national consumer organisations from 30 European countries (EU, EEA and applicant countries). BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for these organisations and our main task is to represent our members and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers.

BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation