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Power Transformers

Related Lawyers: Anthony Maton
Related Practice Areas: Competition Litigation

In October 2009, the European Commission (“EC”) imposed fines totalling €67.6 million on seven companies–ABB, AREVA T&D, ALSTOM, Fuji Electrics, Hitachi and Toshiba - for violating the EC Treaty’s ban on cartels and restrictive business practices between 1999 and 2003. 

The Cartel

The EC found that Japanese and European producers of power transformers operated an oral market sharing agreement, referred to as a "Gentlemen's Agreement", where they agreed that the Japanese members would not sell power transformers in Europe and that the European members would not sell power transformers in Japan. 

The EC Decision concerned power transformers, autotransformers and shunt reactors with a voltage range of over 380 kV. These are major electrical components that reduce or increase the voltage in an electrical circuit. The transmission of electrical current through electricity grids requires a high level of tension to reduce energy losses. Power transformers are used by electricity suppliers in their electricity grids for the transmission and distribution of electric power to the customer. At the time of the infringement, the parties' combined annual sales in the European Economic Area were estimated to be worth around €100 million.

Supporting Documents