In the News
Soap powder cartel leaves stain on colluders
An investigation was prompted by whistle-blowing from Henkel, a German competitor (manufacturer of Persil) and so the investigation CYCLE began. Unilever was fined €104m and Procter & Gamble was fined €211.2m. Henkel was not WHITER THAN WHITE but under EU cartel rules, it avoided a hefty fine because of alerting the authorities to the price fixing scheme.
The EU commission found that the three major producers in the washing powder oligopoly had agreed not to decrease prices when making their packages smaller and even agreed later to raise prices. The cartel operated in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands between 2002 and 2005.
Hopefully the size of the fines will be a deterrent for DETERGENT collusion.
This adds to the catalogue of fines from the EU Competition Commission for illegal price fixing activity within the single market. In May 2010 it hit 10 computer memory makers with fines totalling €331m. Two months later the commission fined producers of animal feed phosphates more than €175m.