ERJ staff report (PR)
The European Commission (EC) has fined 11 producers of underground and submarine high-voltage power cables a total of €301 639 000 for operating a cartel over most the last decade.
The companies involved were ABB, Nexans, Prysmian (previously Pirelli), J-Power Systems (previously Sumitomo Electric and Hitachi Metals), VISCAS (previously Furukawa Electric and Fujikura), EXSYM (previously SWCC Showa and Mitsubishi Cable), Brugg, NKT, Silec (previously Safran), LS Cable and Taihan.
Most of the world´s largest high voltage power cable producers participated in the illegal agreements over a period of almost ten years from 1999, said a 2 April EC announcement. Investment company Goldman Sachs was also fined as a former owner of Prysmian.
The 11 companies, said the EC, shared markets and allocated customers between themselves on an almost worldwide scale. This included large infrastructure and renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind farms in the European Economic Area.
ABB, however, received full immunity from fines as it was the first to reveal the cartel to EU authorities.
Commission vice president in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: "These companies knew very well that what they were doing was illegal. This is why they acted cautiously and with great secrecy"
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