Goldman Sachs, Prysmian, others lose challenge against 302 million euro EU cartel fine

July 12, 2018 | By | Reply More

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A total of 11 companies were fined for participating in a cartel.

Goldman Sachs was among the companies fined by the EU. (Reuters pic)

LUXEMBOURG CITY: Investment bank Goldman Sachs, the world’s leading cablemaker Prysmian, Nexans, and eight other cable companies on Thursday lost their challenge against a 302 million-euro (RM1.423 billion) EU cartel fine.

The companies had appealed to the General Court, Europe’s second-highest court, asking for the European Commission’s 2014 decision to be thrown out and their fines reduced.

The EU antitrust enforcer said the group ran a power cable cartel for almost 10 years from 1999, sharing markets and allocating customers between themselves. ABB escaped a 33 million euro (RM155.5 million) sanction by alerting the authorities.

The court rejected their appeals.

“The General Court confirms the fines of over 300 million euros (RM1.4 billion) that the Commission imposed on the main European and Asian producers of (extra) high voltage power cables for their participation in a worldwide cartel,” judges said.

Prysmian was hit with the largest fine at 104.6 million euros (RM493 million), which included a joint fine of 37.3 million euros (RM175.8 million) with Goldman Sachs. The bank acquired the Italian company via one of its private equity funds in 2005 but has since sold its holding.

Other cartel members were Japanese cable firms Exsym Corporation, J-Power Systems Corporation and Viscas Corporation, Korean peer LS Cable & System, and General Cable Corp via its subsidiary Silec.

Fines were also given to Danish company NKT Holding, South Korean firm Taihan Electric Wire, Mitsubishi Cable Industries, Sumitomo Electric Industries, and Hitachi Metals Ltd Sumitomo and Hitachi were J-Power Systems’ previous owners.

Antitrust enforcers in Japan, South Korea, and Australia have already levied fines against cable companies for anti-competitive practices.

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