Nintendo Fined Nearly $150 Million

Nintendo Fined Nearly $150 Million

by October 30, 2002

This is coming in from the AP Wires; we’ll have much more information on this as we get it:

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – The European Commission fined Japanese computer game maker Nintendo and seven of its European distributors a combined $165 million Wednesday for violating antitrust rules on pricing in the 1990s.

Nintendo Co. Ltd. and seven of its European distributors were fined a total of 167.8 million euros for keeping prices in some European markets high by illegally collaborating to limit cross-border sales.

The fine on Nintendo was 149 million euros ($146 million) and was fourth largest ever handed down by the European Union’s antitrust authorities on an individual company for a single offense.

In a statement, the Commission said the fine reflected Nintendo’s size in the market and its role as the “driving force behind the illicit behavior.”

In Japan, a company spokesman said Nintendo did not contest the charges, but intended to appeal against the size of its fine claiming the case against it was based on information voluntarily submitted by the company.

The Commission said the company prevented distributors selling its goods from EU countries such Britain where prices were cheaper to those like Germany and the Netherlands where they were up to 65 percent more expensive.

“Every year, millions of European families spend large amounts of money on video games. They have the right to buy the games and consoles at the lowest price the market can possibly offer,” said EU competition commissioner Mario Monti.

“We will not tolerate collusive behavior intended to keep prices artificially high.”

The Commission said Nintendo and the distributors “intensively collaborated” to uncover traders who made price-cutting cross-border sales. Such traders were “punished by being given smaller shipments or by being boycotted altogether,” the Commission said.