BONN, GERMAN—German cartel authority, the Bundeskartellamt, has fined HP Pelzer Holding GmbH for its involvement in an automotive interiors and parts price fixing arrangement.
The Witten, Germany-based acoustic component maker was fined around $16.5 million as part of an ongoing case against Autoneum Germany; Carcoustics International; Greiner Perfoam; Ideal Automotive and the International Automotive Components Group.
Coupled with the $82 million fines already imposed on HP Pelzer Holdings' collaborators as was reported earlier this year, the firms have now collectively paid out nearly $100 million.
“At least from May 2010 to January 2012, representatives of Pelzer agreed with competitors on coordinated prices in bids for tenders and orders placed by car manufacturers, said Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt.
“The cartel participants were in agreement that they would not target the existing business and follow-on orders of their competitors. The companies agreed on minimum price levels, discounts to be granted, compensation for tool costs and to include cost escalation clauses in their contracts. They also agreed to pass on increases in raw material prices to their customers,” he added
The object of the agreements were so-called acoustically effective components, according to the Bundeskartellamt. These include flooring, car mats, hat racks, trunk trims, textile wheel house shells, engine compartment insulations, front shock absorbers and trunk shock absorbers.
The proceeding was triggered by an anonymous tip to the Bundeskartellamt's electronic whistle-blowing system. As a consequence, the Bundeskartellamt conducted dawn raids in May and September 2013 at several companies in the sector.
In accordance with the authority's leniency program, no fine was imposed on Johann Borgers, which was also involved in the agreements but was the first company to cooperate with the Bundeskartellamt.
The amount of the fine took into account the fact that HP Pelzer Holding had cooperated with the authorities.