BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Japanese consumer electronics group Toshiba (6502.T) on Wednesday lost an appeal against an EU cartel fine levied on its joint venture with Panasonic (6752.T) five years ago, after Europe’s highest court said it had decisive influence over the business.
The company was part of a group of seven cathode ray tube makers fined a total 1.47 billion euros by the European Commission in 2012 for fixing prices and restricting output for cathode ray tubes for televisions and computer screens for a decade.
Toshiba subsequently challenged the EU competition enforcer’s ruling at the Luxembourg-based General Court which cut the fine imposed on its MTPD joint venture to 82.8 million euros ($88.5 million) from 86.7 million euros.
Toshiba later appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), saying that it could not control MTPD’s decisions and therefore could not be held liable.
The ECJ on Wednesday rejected its argument.
“The Court confirms the fine of 82 million euros imposed jointly and severally on Toshiba and Panasonic/MTPD for their participation in the cartel on the market for tubes for television sets,” judges said in their verdict.
($1 = 0.9356 euros)
Reporting by Waverly Colville. Editing by Jane Merriman