Canon Fined $32 Million by European Commission
Today, the European Commission imposed a fine of €28 million ($32 million U.S.) on Canon Inc. for moving forward with a takeover of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation in 2016 before seeking merger approval.
Canon used a tactic known as “warehousing” that was aimed at circumventing requirements to file for approval, the EU’s European Commission antitrust division said in a statement.
Canon’s acquisition of the medical group remains effective and unaffected by the decision.
Canon noted that the European Commission’s decision marks the end of an investigation lasting more than three years during which the Commission assessed whether Canon had acquired any influence or control over TMSC prior to obtaining merger clearance.
The firm said it “sincerely and fully cooperated with the European Commission at all times during the proceedings, and the Commission acknowledges that Canon did not acquire control over TMSC before the Commission had cleared the transaction for lack of any competition concerns.”
Nevertheless, Canon maintains that relying on a novel concept of “preparatory acts” or “partial implementation,” the Commission alleges that Canon violated the EU Merger Control Regulation, although Canon says the transaction structure was in line with existing and recently reconfirmed jurisprudence of the European courts.
Canon disagrees with the European Commission’s legal assessment, which it says “violates fundamental principles of law.” The company says it’s convinced that it didn’t violate the law and will appeal the decision in the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice also announced that Canon Inc. and Toshiba Corporation have agreed to pay a $5 million fine for violating U.S. federal anti-trust laws related to Canon’s acquisition of Toshiba’s Medical group.