German Competition Authority Bundeskartellamt has imposed administrative fines on three steel forging companies and two senior staff members approximately 35 million Euros totally, for their involvement in anti-competitive information exchange. Bundeskartellamt's investigation was launched into the leniency application made by a forging company.
Among the principal customers of the steel forging companies are the large car manufacturers and the automotive supply industry. According to the Bundeskartellamt, German steel forging companies exchanged their competition-sensitive information on the occasion of working group meetings which took place up to three times a year at least from 2002 to 2016, for passing on the companies’ own costs for manufacturing forged steel products and any changes in costs in full to their customers. This included information in particular about the respective cost situation of the companies, their pricing strategies and concrete negotiations with suppliers and customers. Besides that, Bundeskartellamt stated that the company representatives involved also pursued this aim in numerous bilateral and multilateral contacts outside the meetings of the working group.
As a result, Bundeskartellamt imposed administrative fines to the steel forging companies. No fines were imposed on the company that applied for leniency under the Bundeskartellamt’s leniency program.
(Bundeskartellamt – 04.02.2021)
NAZALI TAX & LEGAL