The European Commission is investigating whether a cartel has been operating in the LCD panel industry.
The Commission said today that it had sent a "statement of objections" to a number of companies in the market, "concerning their alleged participation in a cartel in violation of EC Treaty rules on restrictive business practices".
Associated Press reported that Philips said it and LG Display had been charged with fixing LCD prices, and said it vigorously opposed the allegations. Philips had previously had a share in LG Display.
The Commission said that firms can choose to reply in writing to its request, or request an oral hearing. It was at pains to point out that "Sending a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the procedure."
The announcement came as Philips unveiled second quarter sales of €5.2bn, down 19 per cent on the year. Net profits were €45m, down from €735m last year. Happily, EBITA was €118m.
The firm said it expects its second half performance to be better than the first half's, though it remains "cautious about the overall economy." ®