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Today, Sony Corporation, Sony France SA and Sony Europe Holding BV were informed by the European Commission that it had taken a Decision fining those companies 47.19 million Euros for participating in a cartel from 1999 to 2002 in the professional video tape market in Europe. We have received a brief announcement, but do not yet have the full text of the Decision which we expect to receive in the coming days.
We are very disappointed by the conduct described in the announcement, which involved a small number of employees located in Europe. While the details still need to be confirmed in the full text of the Decision, Sony wants to make clear that it does not approve of or condone conduct of the kind described in the announcement. We are sorry that it happened and express our sincere regret.
Sony is committed to complying fully with all applicable competition rules, including the EU antitrust rules, and it did not contest the principal matters described in the Commission's announcement after they had been formally communicated to Sony. Sony does not, however, agree with the allegation that it obstructed the Commission's investigation. The incidents in question were inappropriate and regrettable, but did not amount to obstruction and had no material impact on the Commission's investigation.
Since the events in the Decision took place some years ago, Sony has reinforced its antitrust compliance policies and training, and has repeatedly made clear to its employees, as it does again today, that such conduct violates our basic principles of integrity and our code of conduct, is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.