The European Commission recently imposed a total of $164 million in fines against Behr, Calsonic, Denso, Panasonic, Sanden and Valeo, which investigations uncovered were taking part in cartels for air conditioning and engine cooling car components.
The six suppliers
settled a case with the commission regarding their involvement in coordinating
prices and exchanging sensitive information within four cartels that affected
car manufacturers within the European Economic Area (EEA). Denso revealed the
existence of three of the cartels and as such was not fined for its participation
in them. Panasonic revealed the existence of the other cartel, making it immune
to fines connected with its participation in that cartel.
“Even though air conditioning and cooling components are not something
you see as products, they are very much something you feel,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who leads competition policy, said in an annoucement. “In this case you might also have felt it
in your wallet even though temperatures would still be regulated in your car.
Today's decision underlines that we do not accept cartels that affect the
European market, wherever and however they may be organised."
Sanden will pay the
largest fine, at $68.5 million for its involvement in two of the cartels
uncovered, while Behr will pay $65.8 million for its involvement in one. Valeo
is on the hook for $28.4 million and was involved in three of the four cartels.
Calsonic, involved in just one, will pay a fine of $1.8 million. Denso was
involved in all four cartels but received immunity for its participation in
three of them for disclosing their existence. The company will pay $341,561.
Panasonic will not pay any fine because it revealed a cartel.
European Commission announces fines for companies in auto cooling parts cartels
Organizations in this Story
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