European Commission finds exclusite territories anticompetitive
The European Commission has recently accused Nintendo and seven European importers and distributers of participating ``in a cartel-like arrangement with the aim of partitioning the European single market.'' Basically, Nintendo has divided the European market into different areas and awarded these submarkets exclusively to each distributer. In fact, the Commission says Nintendo sanctioned any companies that were found to be selling Nintendo products across borders within the EU.
``European families spend millions every year on video games, ands we want to make sure that they are not being swindled,'' said Mario Monti, the European Competition Commissioner. In addition to high prices, Nintendo's policy of stifling retailer competition has also resulted in significant price differences across countries: prices in some European countries are twice as high as prices in others.
If found guilty, the Japanese company could be fined up to 10\% of its annual world-wide turnover (though, in the past, fines have been less than 1\%).
Source: The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2000