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France Fines Buena Vista

2 Jan, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Buena Vista Home Entertainment was included in a $17.2 million fine for alleged price-fixing, levied by the French government Dec. 20 against three French retailers and the Walt Disney Co. unit.

A government antitrust council cited Buena Vista and the retailers for “particularly serious infractions” that involved collusion and the establishment of artificially high home video prices from 1995 to 1998, according to an AP report.

Retailers Carrefour SA, Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA and Selection Disc Organisation SA were fined $6.8 million, $3.8 million and $2.9 million, respectively. BVHE was fined $3.7 million.

It is unclear in the reports if the fines can be appealed and if they were the result of a trial or settlement between Buena Vista, the retailers and the French government.

Walt Disney spokesperson Michelle Bergman said in a statement: “BVHE is disappointed at the size of the fine, which seems totally out of context with the alleged practices in question. We are currently reviewing the decision with our counsel.”

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