Three manufacturers are counting the cost of rigging price supplements and surcharges for plate steel. One company escaped a penalty by being the first to cooperate with the cartel office.
Germany's antitrust authority on Thursday handed down fines totaling some €646 million ($720 million) to three steelmakers for rigging prices for quarto plates, a type of hot-rolled steel used in building bridges, ships, pipelines and machinery, including wind turbines.
The three companies, two German and one Austrian, had regularly determined the surcharges and price supplements for the products among themselves from mid-2002 to June 2016, Germany's antitrust authority, the Federal Cartel Office, said.
Good behavior reward
Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, Ilsenburger Grobblech and Voestalpine Grobblech have admitted the charges, and this was taken into consideration when determining the appropriate fines, the office said. It said that another German company, Dillinger Hüttenwerken, which was also involved in the price rigging, had escaped a fine by being the first company to cooperate with authorities.
The companies can still appeal against the fines, though Voestalpine has already announced that it intends to pay up.
Read more: The long road to 'greener' steel
tj/rt (AFP, dpa)