Vivendi and Warner Guilty of Price Fixing
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) today unanimously upheld charges that Vivendi Universal subsidiaries violated antitrust laws by illegally agreeing with Warner Communications Inc to, "restrict competition for audio and video products featuring 'The Three Tenors' - Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti".
Chairman Timothy J. Muris said the FTC ruled 5-0 that, "PolyGram Holding, Inc. (a predecessor to Vivendi) improperly agreed with Warner to curb discounting and advertising to boost sales of recordings that the two companies jointly had distributed based on the tenors' concert in Paris during the 1998 soccer World Cup. The Commission's order bars PolyGram from agreeing with competitors to fix the prices or restrict the advertising of products they have produced independently."
Muris emphasized, "[n]o analytical exercise is more important to U.S. competition policy than defining the bounds of acceptable cooperation between direct rivals."
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