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Business

The Highest Corporate Fines in EU History

More than a dozen companies have been fined €50 million or more by the European Commission for anti-competitive practices including abuses of monopoly status and price fixing. Here's a list of the biggest cases.

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European Union Commissioner for Competition Mario Monti

Under European Union law, the European Commission can impose fines on companies that use their market-dominating position in ways that harm their customers and consumers or in cases where companies participate in price-fixing cartels. On Wednesday, the Commission said it would fine Microsoft €497.2 million ($611.8 million), the highest EU fine on record.

The following is a list of the biggest fines the Commission has imposed.

1. Microsoft, 2004, abuse of near-monopoly status, €497.2 million

2. Hoffman-La Roche AG, 2001, vitamin cartel, €462 million

3. BASF AG, 2001, vitamin cartel, €296.16 million

4. Lafarge, 2002, plasterboard cartel, €249.60 million

5. Arjo Wiggins, 2001, carbonless paper, €184.27 million

6. Nintendo, 2002, restrictive distribution practices, €149.1 million

7. BPB, 2002, plasterboard cartel, €138.60 million

8. Degussa Ag, 2002, methionine cartel, €118 million

9. Volkswagen, 1998, for restrictive distribution practices, €102 million, reduced to €90 million by the Court of First Instance

10. Hoechst AG, 2003, sorbates cartel, €99 million

11. Knauf, 2002, plasterboard cartel, €85.8 million

12. SGL Carbon, 2001, graphite electrode cartel, €80.2 million

13. Tetra Pak, 1991, abuse of dominant position in liquid packaging, €75 million

14. Mercedes Benz, 2001, violating rules on car distribution, €72 million

15. ABB, 1998, heating pipes cartel, €70 million

16. UCAR, 2001, graphite electrode cartel, €50.4 million

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