December 15, 2016 / 11:05 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Philips, Infineon lose appeal against EU cartel fines

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LUXEMBOURG, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Philips and Infineon lost an appeal on Thursday against a combined 102.9 million euro ($107.8 million) cartel fine after a European court said EU antitrust regulators was correct to find they had fixed prices of smart card chips.

The European Commission in its 2014 decision handed down a total fine of 138 million euros to Philips, Infineon and Samsung for operating a smart card chip cartel in Europe. Infineon's penalty was 82.78 million and Philips' 20.15 million.

Renesas escaped a fine because it alerted the cartel to the authorities. Smart card chips are used in bank cards, telephone SIM cards and identity cards.

The Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe's second-highest, dismissed the companies' appeal and upheld the fines.

"The Court states that the Commission was correct to find that Philips and Infineon had participated in anti-competitive practices," judges said.

The companies can take their case to the Court of the European Union but only on points of law.

The cases are T-758/14 Infineon Technologies AG v Commission and T-762/14 Koninklijke Philips NV and Philips France v Commission.

$1 = 0.9543 euros Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Foo Yun Chee; editing by Susan Thomas

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