It's not funny. Three respected and very large Japanese tape media suppliers have been fined around £50 million (nearly 75 million euros) for keeping videotape prices high. Who? Fuji, Maxell and Sony.

The three, who controlled more than 85 percent of the market, met regularly between 1999 and 2002 to collude on professional videotape pricing. The European Commission raided the firms' offices in May 2002. One Sony employee refused to answer the raider's questions - which is like refusing to answer police questions. Another Sony employee was shredding documents while the raid was going on.

It sounds like a PlayStation game.

The consequence was that Sony's fine was increased by 30 percent because it obstructed the investigation. Hitachi Maxell and Fujifilm Holdings Corp's fines were reduced 20 and 40 percent respectively because they co-operated.