© tom schmucker dreamstime.com Business | February 09, 2017
Johnson Control gets off lightly
The European Commission has fined Campine, Eco-Bat Technologies and Recylex a total of EUR 68 million for fixing prices for purchasing scrap automotive batteries, in breach of EU antitrust rules.
A fourth company, Johnson Controls, was not fined because it revealed the existence of the cartel to the Commission. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Well functioning markets can help us reduce waste and support the circular economy. Therefore, we do not tolerate behaviour that undermines competition. The four companies fined today have colluded to maximise their profits made from recycling scrap batteries, reducing competition in this essential link of the recycling chain." From 2009 to 2012, four recycling companies took part in a cartel to fix the purchase prices of scrap lead-acid automotive batteries in Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The companies are Campine (Belgium), Eco-Bat Technologies (UK), Johnson Controls (US) and Recylex (France). Automotive batteries are the world's most recycled consumer product. Practically 99 percent of car batteries in the EU are recycled. Around 58 million automotive batteries are recycled in the EU every year. Recycling companies purchase used automotive batteries (from cars, vans or trucks) from scrap dealers or scrap collectors. The used batteries are obtained from collection points such as garages, maintenance and repair workshops, battery distributors, scrapyards and other waste disposal sites. Recycling companies carry out the treatment and recovery of scrap batteries and then sell recycled lead, mostly to battery manufacturers, who use it to make new car batteries. Unlike in most cartels where companies conspire to increase their sales prices, the four recycling companies colluded to reduce the purchase price paid to scrap dealers and collectors for used car batteries. By coordinating to lower the prices they paid for scrap batteries, the four companies disrupted the normal functioning of the market and prevented competition on price. This behaviour was intended to lower the value of used batteries sold for scrap, to the detriment of used battery sellers. The companies affected by the cartel were mainly small and medium-sized battery collectors and scrap dealers. The majority of the anti-competitive contacts between the four recycling companies took place on a bilateral basis, mainly through telephone calls, emails, or text messages. Some contacts also took place in person, either in bilateral meetings or, less frequently, in multilateral meetings. The parties were well aware of the illegal character of their contacts and sometimes tried to disguise them by using coded language, for examplebreferring to weather conditions to signal different price levels.
|Name||Reduction under the Leniency Notice||Fine (EUR)|
- The Commission reduced Campine's fine by 5 percent as it played a more minor role than the other cartel participants.
- Johnson Controls received full immunity for revealing the existence of the cartel to the Commission, thereby avoiding a fine of EUR 38'481'300.
- Eco-Bat and Recylex benefited from reductions of their fines for their cooperation with the Commission's investigation.
- Campine's leniency application was rejected as the Commission found that the company had not disclosed its participation in the infringement.
Cree, STMicroelectronics fortify SiC agreement Cree Inc. and STMicroelectronics have expanded their existing multi-year, long-term silicon carbide wafer supply agreement to more than USD 500 million.
LPKF expands in Garbsen, Germany The laser specialist has started the construction of a new clean room factory for the production of glass microstructure components at its headquarters in Garbsen, Germany.
Cree, ABB form partnership for SiC technology Silicon carbide technology specialist Cree and ABB’s Power Grids business have announced a partnership to jointly expand the rollout of silicon carbide for semiconductors.
Soitec & Applied Materials to develop next-gen SiC substrates Designer and manufacturer of semiconductor materials, Soitec, is entering a joint development program with Applied Materials on next-generation silicon carbide substrates.
Sponsored content by SourcengineComponent Aggregators vs E-Commerce Marketplaces What is the difference between electronic component aggregators and a marketplace?
67% of a buyer’s journey is now done digitally. Learn how marketplaces emerged as full-cycle procurement platforms and challenged the traditional component aggregators.
Swissbit to stay on top of demand with new Berlin fab Back in late July of 2018, Swissbit AG, broke ground on its new R&D and manufacturing facility in Berlin with the aim of tripling the production capacity of location. Now its already up and running.
Nuvia closes series A, eyes data center servers Santa Clara semiconductor design startup Nuvia Inc., formed earlier this year by three former top Apple Inc. design executives, has closed its series A round with USD 53 million secured.
Ingun's going global; expands in Latin America and Eastern Europe Benjamin Sontag (INGUN Prüfmittel GmbH) gave a short update on expansion plans in Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Yageo to acquire KEMET in a $1.8 billion deal Yageo Corporation and KEMET Corporation have entered into a definitive agreement under which Yageo will acquire all of the outstanding shares of KEMET’s common stock for USD 27.20 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at USD 1.8 billion.
Sponsored content by EsemdaContract manufacturer Esemda opens new facility in Vilnius and expands EMS The new facility has been built with reserved space for future expansions. As Esemda constantly grows, it is of great importance to be able to rapidly increase production capacity in large volumes.
EVG and DELO partner to expand materials and process capabilities Supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS and semiconductor industry, EV Group (eVG), is partnering with DELO, a manufacturer of industrial high-tech adhesives, in the area of wafer-level optics.
Osram recommends current takeover offer from ams Osram says it has concluded a business combination with Austrian chipmaker ams and is recommending its shareholders to accept the current takeover offer.
EpiWorld speeds up commercialisation of SiC devices with AIXTRON AIXTRON SE has provided an AIX G5 WW C system to EpiWorld International Co., Ltd for the further development of next generation silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafers mainly used for the manufacturing of power devices for automotive applications.
FlexEnable makes acquisition for flex displays FlexEnable, developer of flexible organic electronics, has purchased Merck's portfolio of high-performance organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) materials.
Sponsored content by Z ElektronikaZ Elektronika opens new factory in Pécs To keep up with rapid growth of the company, on the 13th September Z Elektronika celebrated the grand opening of its new electronic design and manufacturing facility close to the highway in Pécs, Hungary, which adds new features and production site to its nearby location.
Samsung’s CPU project ends, layoffs in CA and TX Samsung has confirmed in a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission that layoffs as a result of the closure of the CPU project at the Samsung R&D Center (SARC) in Austin, Texas and the San Jose Advanced Computing Lab (ACL) in San Jose, California, will begin December 31.
Marvell completes acquisition of Avera Semi Marvell has completed its acquisition of Avera Semiconductor, the Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) business of GlobalFoundries.
IAR Systems opens office in Taiwan Swedish IAR Systems, a supplier of software tools and services for embedded development, says the company is expanding in Asia with the opening of an office in Taipei, Taiwan.
ZF and Cree partners up to advance the electric drive ZF Friedrichshafen is teaming up with silicon carbide semiconductor specialist Cree, to create industry-leading, highly efficient electric drivelines.
Broadcom completes acquisition of Symantec Enterprise Security business Semiconductor company Broadcom, says that the company has completed its acquisition of the Enterprise Security business of Symantec Corporation
AVX acquires Chengdu OK New Energy AVX Corporation says it has completed the purchase of Chengdu OK New Energy, Ltd. (COKNE).
Vesper names new SVP of worldwide sales & business development MEMS sensor company Vesper, announces that Lorenzo Ponzanelli has joined the company as senior vice president of worldwide sales and business development, overseeing sales strategy and execution to drive global growth.
Gigaphoton establishes new company in China Gigaphoton, a manufacturer of light sources used in semiconductor lithography, says it has established and started running the business of a new company – Gigaphoton China Inc. in China.
Prepare, adapt & overcome - how ‘to Brexit’ The looming, but yet unknown, effects of Brexit have forced companies to prepare for whatever may come. But how does one really prepare for unknown consequences?
Acal BFi signs pan-European agreement with Champs Technologies Acal BFi says it has added Champs Technologies to its magnetics portfolio. Acal BFi is a Europe-wide specialist technology supplier and design partner with a specialist portfolio of magnetic cores and inductive components products and services.Load more news