Press conference by Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC, on an antitrust decision for producers of car and truck bearings
Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, gave a press conference on an antitrust decision for producers of car and truck bearings.
The EC found that two European companies (SKF and Schaeffler) and four Japanese companies (JTEKT, NSK, NFC and NTN with its French subsidiary NTN-SNR) operated a cartel in the market for automotive bearings. The Commission imposed fines totalling € 953 306 000. Automotive bearings were used by car, truck and car part manufacturers to reduce friction between moving parts inside a vehicle.
Cars and trucks contain numerous bearings, for example wheel bearings, bearings for gearbox, transmission, alternator or air conditioning systems. The companies colluded to secretly coordinate their pricing strategy vis-à-vis automotive customers for more than seven years, from April 2004 until July 2011, in the whole European Economic Area (EEA).
Japanese company JTEKT was not fined as it benefited from immunity under the Commission's 2006 Leniency Notice for revealing the existence of the cartel to the Commission. NSK, NFC, SKF and Schaeffler received reductions of their fines for their cooperation in the investigation under the Commission's leniency programme. Since all companies agreed to settle the case with the Commission, their fines were further reduced by 10%.