Antitrust: Commission fines car parts suppliers of €18 million in cartel settlement

The European Commission has fined Brose and Kiekert a total of €18 million for taking part in two cartels concerning supplies of closure systems for cars in the European Economic Area (EEA). Magna was not fined as it revealed both cartels to the Commission. Magna, based in Canada and Brose, based in Germany took part in a bilateral cartel concerning supplies of door modules and window regulators for a certain car model of Daimler group. Magna and Kiekert, based in Germany took part in a separate bilateral cartel concerning supplies of latches and strikers to BMW group and Daimler group. All three companies acknowledged their involvement in the cartels and agreed to settle the case. The three car equipment suppliers coordinated their pricing behaviour and exchanged commercially sensitive information. The aim of the three companies involved in both cartels was to preserve each party’s existing business and to avoid a deterioration of the prevailing pricing levels of the supplies. The Commission’s investigation revealed the existence of two separate infringements. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Components such as door modules, window regulators and latching systems are essential for the proper functioning of cars, they provide protection against injury and ensure safety and comfort. The three suppliers colluded to increase their profits from the sale of these components. These cartels ultimately hurt European consumers and adversely impacted the competitiveness of the European automotive sector.”  The full press release is available online.