Fines and Bans for Price-Fixing
Published on Sep 17, 2018
The potential cost of anticompetitive behaviour has been writ large in two recent decisions. In one, nine members of a Japanese cartel which organised a price-fixing ring regarding the supply of capacitors found themselves facing fines totalling 254 million Euros after a 14-year collusion. Capacitors store electrical charge and are widely used in the electronics industry to 'smooth' the delivery of current to devices or to deliver the stored charge when needed. In the second instance, a group of estate agents who had agreed to fix commissions charged to clients at a minimum rate of 1.5 per cent were given fines exceeding £300,000 and also faced bans from acting as company directors.
Competition law is very strict in the EU, and transgressions are harshly dealt with when discovered. It is often thought that local 'understandings' are not covered by competition law, but this is not the case. If your business is threatened by the activities of a cartel or you have been invited to join in a price-fixing agreement, contact us for advice.