European Union antitrust regulators fined Philips, Samsung Electronics and Infineon Technologies a total of €138-million ($181.28-million) on Wednesday for fixing prices of chips used in mobile SIM cards.
The European Commission, which raided the companies in October 2008, said the cartel took place between 2003 and 2005.
German chipmaker Infineon received the biggest penalty at €82.8-million. Samsung was fined €35.12-million and Philips €20.15-million.
Philips denied fixing chip prices and said it would challenge the decision in court.
Renesas Technology, a joint venture between Hitachi Ltd and Mitsubishi Electric that was acquired by Renesas Electronics Corp in 2010, escaped a fine of more than €51-million as it was the first to alert the cartel to the EU competition authority.
The chips produced by the companies are also used in bank cards, identity cards, passports and pay TV cards.
The companies had sought to settle the case in return for a 10 per cent cut in the fines but talks broke down last year.
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