Samsung has been manipulating the prices of its televisions illegally for over five years, according to the Dutch Consumer Protection Agency. The Korean electronics giant has to pay a fine of almost 40 million euros.
According to the newspaper De Telegraaf, the Dutch authorities found out in the course of an investigation after the relevant evidence, Samsung actively scoured the Internet for particularly low-priced offers from retailers between 2013 and 2018 in order to then exert pressure on the providers to ensure that the Increase prices.
Samsung actively monitored retail prices
According to the ACM, Samsung had systematically searched for online offers for its products. If a price turned out to be lower than what Samsung wanted, the respective dealer was contacted by employees of the manufacturer. They then asked the provider to raise prices. Samsung also put pressure on dealers when their competitors complained that they were selling certain televisions at bargain prices.
The agency cited WhatsApp messages and emails in which Samsung employees spoke to dealer contacts as evidence of the illegal practice. The consumer protection agency stated that retailers need to be free in their pricing. Samsung’s behavior hindered competition at the retail level and thus led to higher prices for end customers.
The Dutch authorities have now fined Samsung €39 million for distorting competition. In addition, customers who have purchased a TV set of the brand in the Netherlands during the period concerned should now have the option of theoretically claiming damages with the help of consumer protection organizations. For its part, Samsung responded by announcing that it would take legal action against the penalty.
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