On July 13, 2017, the FCO imposed fines totaling € 9.6 million on three suppliers of heat shields for automotive engines and terminated the proceedings with settlements. The proceedings were triggered by a fourth company through a leniency application. Based on the FCO’s press release (see here in German), the case concerned exchange of sensitive information (i.a. on the status of negotiations with car manufacturer VW) as well as an agreement to pass on increased input material prices to VW in 2011. It seems that the infringement was limited in time to 2011, which may explain the relative moderate total fine amount. The FCO moreover took into account the cooperation of some of the companies and the settlements. Interestingly, it seems that the FCO also considered VW’s strong buyer power and the car manufacturer’s own conduct as mitigating factor when setting the fines. Silke Heinz is quoted on the case in Global Competition Review, see here.
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