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Germany fines cartels €8.7m
Originally published:  20/03/2012
Germany’s Bundeskartellamt has fined 13 chemical distributors and wholesalers a total of €8.7m for operating anti-competitive agreements. “With today’s fines we have concluded our cartel proceedings in the chemical wholesale sector,” says Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt. “Together with the fines decisions of one year ago, we have in total imposed fines on 25 companies. For years, representatives of the companies had agreed on prices, quotas and customer allocation in several supply areas.”
The 13 companies concerned are: A + E Fischer Chemie; Bergchemie JC Bröcking; Bilgram Chemikalien; Caldic Deutschland Chemie; Chemische Fabrik Wocklum Gebr Hertin; CSC Jäklechemie; FB Silbermann; Hugo Häffner Vertrieb; Kraemer + Martin; Kruse Chemie; Ross Chemie; Theo Seulberger; and Vollmer Chemie Vertriebs. “The illegal agreements concerned standardised industrial chemicals that were distributed from the warehouses of the chemical wholesalers. Direct supplies from the chemical producers to the customers were not part of the agreements,” the Bundeskartellamt says.
In December 2010, similar proceedings saw fines totalling €15.1m imposed on 12 companies (HCB January 2011, page 68). While these investigations focused on regional cartels in the north and west of Germany, the latest prosecutions pertain to eight regional cartels south of the River Main. In the course of the proceedings all companies agreed to cooperate fully with the Bundeskartellamt, something that was taken into account in the level of fines. While the orders imposing the fines are not yet final and can still be appealed, all the companies involved “have agreed to have the proceedings terminated by settlement”.