Multi-Million Euro Fine Imposed by the National Competition Commission on Liquid Soap Manufacturers

5 February 2010

The disciplinary proceedings stemmed from a complaint filed by a whistleblower who took advantage of the clemency program introduced in the Competition Defence Act reform of 2007.

The Commission is fining numerous liquid soap manufacturers a total of 8.3 million euros for their participation in a price-fixing cartel. The regulatory body estimates that the companies in question made a pact to progressively and simultaneously implement a smaller packaging format for their product without changing the price. This practice hid the price hike since the companies began to offer less product for the same price in concert which, according to the Commission, amounts to anti-competition price fixing prohibited by the Competition Defence Act.

What is noteworthy in this case is that the disciplinary proceedings were initiated in response to a complaint filed by a member of the cartel itself on the first day of the new clemency program. This company benefited from a 100% exemption from the fine which would have applied.

More information: CNC Competition

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