A separate document had a warning: "Everybody is requested to keep it as secret as it would be serious damage if it is open to customers or European Commission." Another said: "Please dispose the following document after reading it."
"Instead of competing with each other to innovate and provide the best product at the best price, they chose to conspire to artificially maintain returns in a declining technology market," Almunia said. "This is why we fight cartels."
He said the television and computer cartels were among the most sophisticated the EU had ever dealt with. He said they not only fixed prices, but also shared markets, coordinated capacity, output and customer allocation. In the computer monitor cartel, they even audited compliance.
The Commission started its probe with an antitrust raid on the companies in November 2007. Almunia said U.S. authorities were currently investigating the case as well.
Mike Corder in The Hague and Sam Kim in Seoul contributed to this article.
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