* Fines could come in late July or early September
* Chipmakers charged last year with fixing chip prices
* Chips used in mobile SIM cards, passports, bank cards
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, June 24 EU regulators are poised to
fine Philips, Samsung Electronics and
Infineon Technologies 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.
The Commission, Philips and Infineon declined to comment.
Samsung was 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 - would not be fined
as it alerted the cartel to the regulator. Renesas could not be
contacted outside of office hours.
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.
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.
(Additional reporting by Harro Ten Wolde in Frankfurt, Anthony
Deutsch in Amsterdam and Sophie Knight in Tokyo; editing by Tom