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EU high court upholds multimillion euro (dollar) fine against Japanese-European steel tube cartel

EU high court upholds multimillion euro (dollar) fine against Japanese-European steel tube cartel

The European Union's Court of Justice on Thursday upheld a multimillion euro (dollar) fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators in 1999 against four Japanese and European steel tube producers for price fixing.
The EU's highest court rejected an appeal by four of eight original defending companies which faced fines worth euro99 million (US$129 million) in the original court ruling over seven years ago.
The court said the EU's lower Court of First Instance "did not err in law in concluding that there was a cartel designed to share domestic markets."
The case involved the use of steel tubes in the exploration and transport of oil and gas.
EU regulators found eight companies _ including Germany's Salzgitter Mannesmann GmbH, Japan's Nippon Steel Corp. and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. _ had restricted competition by requiring they all respect each other's domestic market. The violations of competition rules had begun in 1990 and ceased five years later.
A 2004 appeal by seven of the companies managed to reduce the overall fine by euro13 million (US$16.9 million) and four launched a further appeal to the EU's highest court to get the fines scrapped.
Thursday's ruling however, keeps in place fines for Japan's Nippon Steel, Sumitomo Metal, Salzgitter Mannesmann, and Italy's Dalmine SpA. Salzgitter Mannesmann will still have to pay euro12.6 million (US$16.4 million), Nippon Steel euro10.9 million (US$14.2 million), Sumitomo Metal euro10.9 million (US$14.2 million), and Dalmine euro10 million (US$13 million).


Updated : 2021-06-23 06:55 GMT+08:00