Consumer watchdog fines Samsung € 39m over TV pricing
Dutch consumer watchdog ACM fined Samsung over € 39 million for influencing online TV prices between 2013 and 2018.
ACM says Samsung has used “price recommendations” to ensure that seven online retailers raise their prices to the level they want to see.
“Samsung knew it couldn’t force retailers to raise their prices, which is why Samsung associates used the term ‘recommendations’,” said ACM Chairman Martijn Snoep. “But, in reality, these recommendations were neither personal nor non-binding. Samsung’s practices have disrupted competition at the retail level and resulted in higher prices for consumers. ‘
Samsung monitored retailer prices using automated web crawlers. If the company found that the prices were below the desired market price, it would contact the retailer and urge them to increase their prices via email and Whatsapp.
“The price of new TV models drops rapidly after they are introduced to the market,” ACM said. “Samsung has sought to counter this process by coordinating prices with retailers … protecting its own margins as well as retailer margins to the detriment of consumers.”
Samsung said it was appealing the fine.
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