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14 May 2018 at 07:32 BST

Asus 65 million euro price tag to settle competition case

It will take more than wonders by Asus' new product ambassador to maintain profitability after settling antitrust case.

Wonder Woman Gal Gadot is Asus product ambassador Shutterstock

Taiwan's Asustek Computer, known as Asus, has reached an agreement with the European Union to pay about 65 million euros ($77.6 million) to settle allegations of price manipulation in its PC business in Europe. At the company's earnings briefing for the January-March quarter in Taipei, Asus Chief Financial Officer Nick Wu said "Although it is a high price to pay, this is the outcome we have to face and accept."

Hitting the bottom line
In February 2017, The European Commission launched separate antitrust investigations into Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips, and Pioneer for allegedly breaching EU competition regulations. Concerns focused on restricting the ability of e-commerce operators to set their own prices for consumer electronics such as notebooks, hi-fi products and household appliances. Asus had set aside 65 million euros to settle the case, hitting the January-March quarterly earnings, which plunged 35% on the year and 41% on the quarter.

Wonder woman to the rescue
Asus, once the world's fourth-largest PC vendor, has hired Gal Gadot, star of Hollywood blockbuster "Wonder Woman," to be the company's notebook ambassador this year. PC business contributed 63 per cent of Asus’ total revenue last year, while the smartphone business accounted for 17 per cent. However, with both industries slowing down and the cost of the celebrity hire along with the EC settlement it will be a difficult year.


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