Irish Finance minister Michael Noonan and Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen (LtR) talk prior to an Economic and Financial Affairs Council on December 4, 2012 at EU Headquarters in Brussels. Finance Ministers of the European Union will try to reach an agreement that takes the form of integrated supervision of banks in the euro area, despite disagreements between Paris and Berlin on the exact role that will be given to the European Central Bank in this device.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union has imposed a massive fine of almost (euro) 1.5 billion ($2 billion) on seven international companies for fixing the market of television and computer monitor tubes for a decade ending in 2006.
The EU's Commission said Wednesday that the companies, including Philips, LG Electronics and Panasonic, artificially set prices, shared markets and restricted their output for their profit at the expense of the consumer.
EU antitrust Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said that the cartels `'feature all the worst kinds of anticompetitive behavior that are strictly forbidden to companies doing business in Europe."
Tubes were the essential part of television screens and computer monitors before they were replaced by flatscreens.
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