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 Nintendo Unhappy with 150 Million Euro Fine

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PostSubject: Nintendo Unhappy with 150 Million Euro Fine   May 21st 2008, 6:31 pm

Nintendo have told a European Union court a 149.1 million euro ($232 million) fine levied by EU regulators for price fixing was unjustified.

Nintendo contends the European Commission's calculation of the fine was irrational and discriminatory. The EU penalty was the largest ever at the time that a company received for colluding with distributors, Nintendo said.

"The penalty was unfair, illegal, even shocking," Ian Forrester, a lawyer for Nintendo, told the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg today. "This remains one of the biggest single fines in EU competition law."

The European Commission in 2002 fined Nintendo and seven distributors a total of 167.8 million euros for colluding between 1991 and 1998 to raise prices of games and consoles. The agency, based in Brussels, said the penalty reflected Nintendo's position as producer and supplier.

"The fine was not of a capricious nature, or based on wild estimates," Xavier Lewis, a lawyer for the commission, told the court. "This fine was for an infringement that was considered very serious."

It's a producer's responsibility to pay "particular vigilance" to prevent price collusion with distributors and Nintendo's failure to do so merits the fine, the commission said in court filings. An analysis of each party's conduct prevented smaller distributors from being unduly penalized, the agency said.
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