The European Union’s competition watchdog is sounding the warning to business cartels by announcing fines totalling more than half a billion euro (£440 million) in three cases.
The EU Commission said it fined groups of maritime car carriers 395 million euro (£348 million), spark plug suppliers 76 million euro (£67 million) and brake system suppliers 75 million euro (£66 million) for taking part in cartels.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “The three separate decisions taken today show that we will not tolerate anti-competitive behaviour affecting European consumers and industries.”
In reference to its biggest fine, the Commission said Chilean maritime carrier CSAV, the Japanese carriers K Line, MOL and NYK, and Norwegian/Swedish carrier WWL-EUKOR formed a deep sea vehicle transport cartel for almost six years.
Germany’s Bosch and Japan’s Denso and NGK were found to have run a cartel supplying spark plugs to European car-makers, while three companies — TRW, Bosch and Continental — ran two different cartels fixing brake system prices.
Denso and TRW received immunity for exposing the cartels.