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Antitrust enforcement: radiator manufacturers feel the chillSubscribe to RSS feed

July 08 2010

The Competition Council has announced that it has fined four Belgian steel plate radiator manufacturers - Masco, Quinn, Caradon and Radson (now called Rettig) - for participating in a cartel in the steel plate radiator market in Belgium.

The Competition Authority's investigation was based on two leniency applications. The investigation revealed that the four manufacturers had shared commercially sensitive information and had coordinated the gross wholesale price of steel plate radiators between 2003 and mid-2006. Three of the manufacturers pleaded guilty.

The council's report on the case states that by exchanging commercially sensitive information, the four manufacturers intended to align their behaviour and pricing in the market in question. This amounted to making the market behaviour of competitors more predictable and constituted a severe restriction of competition. As such, the action was prohibited under Belgian and EU competition law.

The council decided to impose a total fine of over €3.5 million on the cartel members. As the first whistleblower, Masco was given total immunity. In return for providing the council with additional evidence on the cartel, Quinn was granted a reduction in its fine under the leniency programme and was fined only around €200,000. Rettig (formerly Radson) was fined over €1.47 million and Caradon was fined over €1.85 million.

For further information on this topic please contact Carmen Verdonck or Jenna Auwerx at ALTIUS by telephone (+32 2 426 1414), fax (+32 2 426 2030) or email (carmen.verdonck@altius.com or jenna.auwerx@altius.com). (source)