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EU Court Reduces Fine on Nintendo to $157 Million

(CN) - Europe's second-highest court reduced a $197 million fine against Nintendo to $157.4 million, saying the video-game maker had "effectively cooperated in the proceedings." Nintendo and seven distributors were accused of striking deals that stifled parallel trade.

The European Commission found the agreements anti-competitive, as distributors were punished for allowing parallel exports by a reduction in their supply or a total boycott by Nintendo.

The Commission fined Nintendo 149 million euros, or about $197 million. CD-Contract Data, the exclusive distributor for Belgium and Luxembourg, was fined 1 million euros, or $1.3 million, for its participation. The Commission ordered Japan-based Itochu Corp. to pay 4.5 million euros, or nearly $6 million.

The Court of First Instance reduced Nintendo's fine based on its cooperation. It also cut CD-Contract Data's fine in half, after determining that the distributor had played a passive role in the violation of European Community law.

But the court refused to reduce the fine for Itochu, because the company failed to show any evidence rebutting the claim that it orchestrated the anti-competitive conduct of its Greek subsidiary, Itochu Hellas.

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