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Braking cartel

EC fines Tier1 suppliers

The European Commission (EC) has decided to sentence Bosch and Continental for taking part in cartels regarding automotive brakes. Such products are optionally CAN-connectable.

Commissioner Margarethe Vestager said: “We will not tolerate anticompetitive behavior affecting European consumers and industries.” (Photo: EC)

The cartels were about hydraulic and electronic brakes. It involved two cartels, one between Bosch, Continental, and TRW (now daughter company of ZF), and another one involving only Bosch and Continental. The first cartel relates to discussions of general sales conditions from 2007 to 2011. The second is about a specific tender for Volkswagen during 2010 and 2011. In both cases, the suppliers coordinated their behavior in the market via exchanges of confidential information. Those exchanges, including on pricing elements, happened through bilateral meetings, as well as phone conversations and email exchanges.

“Our decision fines Bosch and Continental a total of 75 million euros. Both companies had their fines reduced for their cooperation with the Commission. TRW avoided a fine altogether for disclosing the cartel that it was involved in, and Continental also avoided a fine for disclosing the other cartel,” explained Commissioner Margarethe Vestager. Blowing the whistle avoids the fine. TRW saved 54 million euros in case one, and Continental 22 million euros in the second cartel case.