12/11/2008, Brussels — The European Commission on Wednesday, Novermber 12, 2008 imposed an unprecedented
An investigation concluded that managers of Asahi of Japan, Britain’s Pilkington, Saint-Gobain of France and Belgium’s Soliver had taken part in a series of illegal talks in a number of European airports and hotels between 1998 and 2003 to fix prices and market share and allocate customers to each other.
These companies together control 90 per cent of the European’s
The EU executive increased the fine on St Gobain by 60 per cent to 896 million euros after it was found to be a repeat offender.
Asahi, by contrast, benefited from a 50 per cent reduction for acting as a whistle-blower.
The fines are the highest ever imposed by the commission in such cartel cases.
«These companies cheated the car industry and car buyers for five years in a market worth 2 billion euros in the last year of the cartel,» said European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.
«Management and shareholders of companies that damage consumers and European industry by running cartels must learn their lessons the hard way — if you cheat, you will get a heavy fine,» the commissioner said.
Fines that have to be paid out by companies go to the EU budget.