Nintendo Hit With Giant Fine By European Commission

The European Commission has slapped Nintendo with a whopping 149 million euro fine for attempting to price fix its games on the continent.
Anti-trust officials in the EC found Nintendo, as well as seven of its distributors, guilty of attempting to keep prices artificially high in various EU countries between 1991 and 1998. Due to the way that Nintendo structured its deals with its European distributors, those distributors could not sell games in certain countries, resulting in large price disparities across country borders. For example, game prices in Germany or the Netherlands were up to 65% higher than in Britain. Nintendo's fine was the fourth highest ever handed out by the EC. Company officials stated that they will appeal the verdict. "In view of the size of the fine, which Nintendo finds surprising, Nintendo will lodge an appeal," the company said. The seven distributors were fined a total of 18 million euros. Mario Monti, the EC's Competition Commissioner, stated that "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. We will not tolerate... behavior intended to keep prices artificially high in the European single market."

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