• Kyodo

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Taiwan’s competition policy watchdog said Wednesday that it has imposed fines totaling 5.79 billion New Taiwan dollars ($176 million) against a total of 10 companies, including Japan’s Nippon Chemi-Con Corp. and Rubycon Corp., for forming a cartel to fix prices of capacitors used in a range of electronics products such as PCs, mobile phones and hand-held game consoles.

The Fair Trade Commission said in a press release that the total amount is “the highest” that it has imposed on international businesses.

Most of the 10 companies are Japanese or affiliated with Japanese businesses. Nippon Chemi-Con is assessed the largest NT$1.86 billion, followed by Rubycon (NT$1.24 billion) and NEC Tokin Corp. (NT$1.21 billion). Other Japanese companies include Elna Co. and Matsuo Electric Co.

The investigation revealed that “Japanese capacitor companies had convened several multilateral meetings and engaged in bilateral communication since the 1980s, and had exchanged sensitive business information to reach agreements” on aluminum capacitors and tantalum capacitors.

The commission said “this case has shown the successful results of its efforts in international cooperation with other competition authorities through years” and its decision is the first among competition agencies. The matter has been under investigation in the European Union, the United States, Japan, South Korea and China, the FTC said.

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