The European Union (EU) has come up strong against global lighting equipment suppliers Automotive Lighting and Hella, for operating a cartel with Valeo. The EU has imposed a fine of 27 million euros (Rs 203 crore) on the two suppliers, while sparing French supplier Valeo for blowing the whistle on the operation.
As per a Reuters report, the companies were involved in discussing quotes for tenders and negotiated strategies while exchanging information on the status of their negotiations with customers regarding price hike.
"The Commission has sanctioned another cartel in the automotive sector. Three lighting producers harmed car and commercial vehicle manufacturers by colluding instead of competing against each other," competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
Since Valeo revealed the existence of the cartel, the company escaped a fine of over 30.5 million euros (Rs 233 crore), the Commission said. While Automotive Lighting has been fined 16.3 million euros (Rs 124 crore), Hella received a fine of 10.4 million euros (Rs 79 crore).
As per the report, car air-conditioning and engine cooling systems manufacturers in the EU have been penalised before for indulging in cartels. Last year truck manufacturers in the EU were fined a total of 2.9 billion euros (Rs 22,167 crore) for violation of fair competition.