Procter & Gamble, Unilever fined over cartel
Procter & Gamble and Unilever have been fined a total of €315.2m by the European Commission for operating a cartel in the laundry powder detergent market across eight EU countries.
A third company, Henkel was also involved but avoided punishment because it told the commission about the cartel in 2008.
The cartel existed between January 2002 and March 2005, and involved the companies coordinating prices following a collaboration on improving their products' environmental performance. The anti-competitive practices took place in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.
Procter & Gamble will pay a fine of €211.2m and Unilever will pay €104m. Both had their fines reduced by 10 per cent because they cooperated with the investigation.
Joaquín Almunia, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: "Companies should be under no illusion that the commission will pursue its relentless fight against cartels, which extract higher prices from consumers than if companies compete fairly and on the merits."
Is it what we call free trade? Let's hope that this is not what is being taught to our children in university.
Shaya - England