March 21, 2018 / 10:39 AM / a year ago

EU fines capacitor producers 254 million euros for taking part in cartel

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators handed down a 254-million-euro ($311.94 million) fine to eight capacitor producers on Wednesday for taking part in a cartel for more than a decade.

The European Commission said Elna, Hitachi Chemical, Holy Stone, Matsuo, Nec Tokin, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con and Rubycon fixed prices for the supply of aluminium and tantalum electrolytic capacitors.

Sanyo Electric Co and Panasonic Corp alerted the EU competition enforcer and avoided a fine.

Capacitors are used in electronic products such as smartphones, home appliances, car electronic systems and wind turbines.

“Our decision again makes clear that we will not tolerate anti-competitive conduct that may affect European consumers, even if anticompetitive contacts take place outside Europe,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

It said the cartel ran from 1998 to 2012, with meetings taking place mainly in Japan but the operation was on a global scale.

($1 = 0.8143 euros)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Robin Emmott

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