German Federal Cartel Office imposed fines totaling almost one billion Euro on German steel producers for price cartels in several cases

In December 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) imposed fines totaling EUR 646 million on several German flat steel producers.

According to the Federal Cartel Office´s findings, the cartel related to quality-, alloy- and scrap metal-surcharges for quarto plates in the period from mid-2002 until June 2016. Four steel producers have been participating in the cartel, with only Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH, Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG and voestalpine Grobblech GmbH being fined. Due to their cooporation with the Federal Cartel Office, Dillinger Hüttenwerke AG was granted immunity from fines. The parties have conceded the allegations and agreed to terminate the proceedings by settlement.

Previously, in July 2018 and January 2019, the Federal Cartel Office had imposed fines totaling EUR 290 million on eight stainless steel producers as well as on two business associations and individual persons. Again, the cartel related mainly to price surcharges, and in certain cases also to base prices, while only long steel products belonging to the product groups engineering steel, tool steel and high-speed steel as well as stainless steel (RSH) in the period 2004 until November 2015 were affected.

In cooperation with renowned competition economists, Hausfeld will support affected purchasers of quarto plates and long products made of stainless steel to quickly and efficientlyobtain a first estimate of the individual damage and to enforce potential claims for damages.

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