Pre-stressing Steel cartel
On 30 June 2010, the European Commission adopted a decision in which it found that 17 pre-stressing producers participated in a cartel between 1984 and 2002 within the European Economic Area other than Greece, Ireland and the UK. The Commission imposed fines totalling €269 million.
Pre-stressing steel encompasses metal wires and strands made of wire rod. It can be found within piles, beams, railway sleepers, anchors, floors, and within structural engineering and subsequent underground engineering developments. Additionally, it is a major component of offshore oil rig platforms, loading docks, high-rise buildings and other large infrastructure projects. Large European pre-stressing steel markets include Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Portugal.
Among those companies named in the EC decision as cartelists were Arcelor Mittal, Emesa-Trefileria, Global Steel Wire, Socitrel Sociedade Industrial De Trefilaria & Companhia Previdente, Voestalpine, Westfalische Drahtindustrie, Nedri Spanstaal, DWK Drahtwerk Koln, Saarstahl, Ovako Hjulsbro, Rautaruukki Oyj, Italcables, Redaelli Tecna, I.T.A.S - Industrias Trafileria Applicazioni Speciali, Ori Martin and Emme Holding.
The cartelists engaged in fixing quotas, customer sharing, price fixing and exchanging sensitive commercial information relating to price, volume and customers at European, regional and national level. The combined market share of the cartelists amounted to approximately 80% of the EEA pre-stressing steel market.
It is well established in law that any person or business affected by the misconduct identified by the European Commission may bring the matter before the courts of the member states and seek damages. Our Hausfeld’s London and Amsterdam teams are running a large damages claim against the cartelists in the Netherlands on behalf of a major European railway company.