Economy

EU raids electronics companies in prices probe

AMSTERDAM (AP) — European Union antitrust regulators have raided the offices of several companies that make and sell consumer electronics and domestic appliances, in an investigation into whether they artificially boosted the prices of goods online.

The raids were carried out by the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, which declined to identify the companies targeted. In a statement it said it has reason to believe they restricted online sales of their products to keep their prices high or made them unavailable at outlets that sold them cheaply.

Royal Philips NV confirmed Friday it was one of the companies targeted. Spokesman Joost Akkermans said the company is cooperating with an "ongoing case" but it cannot comment further. Media-Saturn-Holding GmbH, which operates the Saturn and Media Markt consumer electronics retail chains, likewise confirmed it had been involved and is cooperating. Samsung is widely reported to also have been targeted in the raids, but company officials in Seoul could not immediately be reached to confirm that late Friday.

The Commission underlined that its investigation is at a preliminary stage and may never lead to charges, let alone a finding of guilt.

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