(Updates with comment from Renesas, adds details of previous
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, June 25 EU regulators are poised to
fine Philips, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
and Infineon Technologies AG in the coming weeks for
fixing prices of chips used in mobile SIM cards, two people
familiar with the case said on Tuesday.
The case started with dawn raids on the companies by the
European Commission in October 2008. The European Union watchdog
charged them last year with taking part in a cartel.
The chips are also used in passports, bank cards, identity
cards and television systems.
"The companies may be fined in late July or possibly
September," said one of the sources, who declined to be named as
the EU decision is not yet public.
Officials with the commission, Philips and Infineon declined
to comment. Samsung officials were not immediately available for
comment. Philips said last year that the EU charges covered the
period 2003 to 2004 and involved its semiconductor business
which it has since sold.
The sources said Renesas Technology - a joint venture
between Hitachi Ltd and Mitsubishi Electric that was bought by
Renesas Electronics Corp in 2010 - would not be fined
as it alerted the regulator to the cartel. Renesas Electronics
said it had not publicly said it had told the regulator and was
not aware that the other companies would be fined.
Companies that breach EU rules can be fined up to 10 percent
of their global turnover. Dutch company Philips's 2013 turnover
was 23.3 billion euros ($31.72 billion).
The chipmakers had initially sought to settle the case,
which means admitting guilt in return for a 10 percent cut in
sanctions, but talks broke down last year.
($1 = 0.7345 euros)
(Additional reporting by Harro Ten Wolde in FRANKFURT, Anthony
Deutsch in AMSTERDAM and Sophie Knight in TOKYO; Editing by Matt