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