In three separate decisions, the European Commission has fined today four maritime car carriers €395 million, two suppliers of spark plugs €76 million, and two suppliers of braking systems €75 million, for taking part in cartels, in breach of EU antitrust rules.
In particular, the European Commission found: i) that the Chilean maritime carrier CSAV, the Japanese carriers “K” Line, MOL and NYK, and the Norwegian/Swedish carrier WWL-EUKOR participated in a cartel concerning intercontinental maritime transport of vehicles; ii) that Bosch (Germany), Denso and NGK (both Japan) participated in a cartel concerning supplies of spark plugs to car manufacturers in the European Economic Area; and iii) that TRW (USA, now ZF TRW, Germany), Bosch (Germany) and Continental (Germany) took part in a cartel concerning the supply of hydraulic braking systems and that Bosch and Continental also took part in a separate cartel concerning the supply of electronic braking systems. All companies acknowledged their involvement in the cartels and agreed to settle the cases.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: “The Commission has sanctioned several companies for colluding in the maritime transport of cars and the supply of car parts. The three separate decisions taken today show that we will not tolerate anticompetitive behaviour affecting European consumers and industries. By raising component prices or transport costs for cars, the cartels ultimately hurt European consumers and adversely impacted the competitiveness of the European automotive sector, which employs around 12 million people in the EU.”