As of 30th October 2002, Nintendo has been fined €149 million by the EU for restricting trade between certain European countries and keeping prices artificaly high in the period between 1991 and 1998!

"Every year, millions of European families spend large amounts of money on video games. They have the right to buy the games and consoles at the lowest price the market can possibly offer and we will not tolerate collusive behaviour intended to keep prices artificially high," said European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti.

Nintendo claims it finds the amount of the fine "surprising" and is lodging an appeal.

The company made a statement earlier today:

"Nintendo accepts the finding that, up to 1998, its distribution practices did not comply with EU competition rules. Nintendo has rectified the relevant aspects of its distribution in Europe and has instigated a thorough and far-reaching compliance programme that enables the free flow of product across Europe."

And this is the funny part - Nintendo had the money to pay any fine that came up set aside years ago in case this happened. So don't worry; Nintendo isn't going to die (not yet, anyway). Just goes to show that you really can't mess with the masters.