EU Court Upholds Fines for Copper Tube Cartel

     (CN) – The European Commission properly fined three companies a total of more than $106 million for forming a cartel in the copper tubes market, the Court of First Instance ruled.

     In late 2003, the Commission fined German company Wieland-Werke 20.79 million euros, or about $28 million; Finnish company Outokumpu 18.13 million euros, or $24.5 million; and the KME Group 39.81 million euro, or $53.7 million.
     The companies took action to reduce or dismissed the fines, but the court denied their request. The copper tubing produced by the companies is used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industries.
     “The cartel consisted essentially in fixing prices, coordinating price increases and sharing markets,” the court wrote, “particularly by the allocation of customers and market shares and the exchange of confidential information.”

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