Nintendo was fined €149.1 million for price fixing all the way back in 2002, but still hasn't paid a penny to the European Commission who imposed it, as it is appealing the penalty. Only this week has a Nintendo representative appeared before the European Court of First Instance to argue its case that the fine is, as the company said when it was first imposed, "massively exorbitant".
Originally the fine was imposed as punishment for Nintendo colluding with several re-distributors to stop export sales from cheaper regions to more expensive ones, thus artificially bolstering prices. The €150-odd million fine (now equivalent to about £120 million, up from about £92 million at the time) was appealed by Nintendo who considered that it had been calculated unlawfully and inappropriately.
At the most recent hearing Ian Forrester, a Nintendo lawyer, said to the court that the penalty was "unfair, illegal, even shocking" adding that "this remains one of the biggest single fines in EU competition law".
Nintendo is claiming that the tripling of the fine amount intended to deter future offences was not explained, or justified by the European Commission and, further, that a 10 per cent increase for every year that Nintendo's infringement spanned was improper as "the infringement was not of a continuous intensity".
Xavier Lewis, a lawyer for the Commission commented that "the fine was not of a capricious nature, or based on wild estimates. This fine was for an infringement that was considered very serious."