Final dates! Join the tutor2u subject teams in London for a day of exam technique and revision at the cinema. Learn more

In the News

Soap powder cartel leaves stain on colluders

Geoff Riley

13th April 2011

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.

BBC: Unilever and Procter & Gamble in price fixing fine

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

© 2002-2024 Tutor2u Limited. Company Reg no: 04489574. VAT reg no 816865400.