ASUS slapped with antitrust fine for price fixing

Asus has been slapped with a hefty fine by the European Commission after the company was revealed to be engaged in online price fixing, a breach of European Antitrust law.

Asus picked up a fine for over €63 million, while PCGN reports Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer were also handed fines for unconnected offences that were similar.

The European Commission says that all of the companies involved and fined were engaging in ‘fixed or minimum resale price maintenance’ which means that companies were trying to control the pricing of online retailers, so that they couldn’t sell the companies products under the recommend prices, threatening to limit access to stock if retailers didn’t play ball.

“If a manufacturer noticed that a particular online retailer was offering lower prices than they wanted, they would contact the retailer to tell them to increase their prices,” Commissioner Vestager of the European Commission said in a statement. “If that retailer did not cooperate, it would face sanctions. These sanctions included, for example, withdrawing the supplies of the products in question.”

All of the companies involved in the investigation cooperated, which gives them a discount on the fines handed out of around 40 per cent — although Pioneer got a 50 per cent cut — , so apparently it’s fine to get a reduction on the recommended price point when it’s the companies found price fixing that have to foot the bill. 

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