The European Commission (EC) is to fine Samsung Electronics for waiting for a year before bothering to request EC approval for its acquisition of AST Research, according to sources.
The fine, which will be the first in EC history, will be a small, symbolic amount, sources close to the EC said, to show the EC will use its powers if necessary.
Samsung bid to acquire AST over a year before asking for EC approval in April 1997 and it went ahead with the deal without seeking approval first. The EC is likely to reprimand the company for its oversight rather than punish it severely to protect against anti-competitive or monopoly issue.
European Union laws state that a company can be fined around $50,000 if it does not file for approval within a week of any take over bid. An additional penalty of up to 10 per cent of worldwide turnover can be imposed if a deal is completed without EC consent. The rules apply to companies trading in Europe, regardless of which country they are based in.
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