CADE concludes that manufacturers of components for computers and tube televisions participated in an international cartel
The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE, in its acronym in Portuguese) comdemned, this Wednesday (08/22), two international cartels in the market of cathode ray tubes (CRTs). After investigating, the antitrust authority concluded that the manufacturers of TV's color picture tubes (CPTs) and PC's color display tubes (CDTs) had colluded, aiming to accomplish anticompetitive practices which caused harm to the Brazilian market for over a decade.
The anticompetitive practices occurred from 1995 to 2007, and involved the biggest worldwide CRTs manufacturers. The cartels were characterised by the regular exchange of commercially sensitive information, price fixing, market division and the restriction of the product assembly. According to the investigations, the arrangements among competitors were agreed through the exchange of emails and bilateral and multilateral meetings.
The conducts affected competition in the market of tubes for color picture and caused damages in Brazil. The companies that imported these products from the represented parties were harmed, as well as Brazilian consumers who bought TVs and computers manufactured with this technology.
The proceedings show evidence of meetings being held in Brazil, and references to Brazilian consumers in meetings abroad.
The evidence that the alleged conducts happened and caused harm to the Brazilian market were obtained, mainly, through leniency agreements and Cease and Desist Agreements, signed by companies and individuals that were involved with the collusion.
The cartels in the CRT market were also subjected to probes and conviction in other jurisdictions, such as USA, EU, Japan, Czech Republic, Hungary and South Korea.
Unanimously, the Tribunal followed the vote of Commissioner Paulo Burnier and condemned the companies Toshiba Corporation and MT Picture Display, as well as an individual, for cartel activity in the international market of CPTs. The fees amount to over BRL 4,9 million.
Also by unanimity, the council adopted the understanding of Commissioner Mauricio Oscar Bandeira Maia and filed the case concerning the CDT cartel regarding MT Picture Display, the only company that didn't sign an agreement with CADE during the investigation. CADE’s Tribunal understood that there were no sufficient indications of its participation in this cartel.
With this decision, CADE reached a number of ten international cartels judged by the collegiate.
Leniency and TCCs
The investigations started through leniency agreements signed in 2008 with Samsung and individuals related to the group, which confessed participation in the cartels and presented proof of the infraction and its effects in Brazil. In the judgements, the Council extinguished the criminal liability of the beneficiaries of leniency, given the full compliance with the agreements.
Cease and Desist Agreements were signed in both processes, in which the parties admitted having participated in the investigated conducts, agreed in ceasing the practice and collaborated with the antitrust authority in the elucidation of the facts. The signing parties are the companies LG Electronics, LG Electronics do Brasil, Koninklijke, Philips, Philips do Brasil, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, LP Displays International (holder of LP Displays Amazônia), LP Displays International Limited, Technicolor, and five individuals.