Friday, November 14, 2008
Antitrust enforcement in the European Union was in the spotlight this week after the European Commission fined companies controlling the European automobile glass market 1.4 billion Euros for price-fixing over the past five years. Two of the companies fined had been previously charged with price-fixing of flat glass for buildings and homes. At least one of the companies planned to appeal the fine to EU courts in Luxembourg. Some antitrust experts believe that chronic price-fixing raises questions about the effectiveness of antitrust enforcement in the EU, which does not have the threat of imprisonment (as in the United States for similar violations). The fine against the auto glass cartel exceeded the previous record fine against a cartel, which was set last year with a 992 million euro fine against elevator makers.