Brazil’s competition authority CADE has fined Toshiba and Mitsubishi US$1.1 million for their roles in the global gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) cartel.
The investigations initiated in 2006, after the signature of a Leniency Agreement between the Secretariat of Economic Law (which was merged with CADE) of the Ministry of Justice and the companies of the ABB group, which presented evidence on the anticompetitive practice.
From 1988 to 2004, the cartel members coordinated the concession of GIS projects on an international basis, following accorded rules and principles, respecting estimated market shares, fixing prices level, and dividing geographic markets. The alleged deal would have affected all the consumer countries, except the United States and Canada, and, in a second moment, China and Russia.
The coordination occurred through meetings of various levels, known as Working Groups, Steering Committee, and Job Meetings. There was also the exchange of information through secret fax, emails, and phone calls, with codenames to avoid detection by the authorities.
According to the Reporting Commissioner Polyanna Vilanova, the evidence included in the proceeding shows that the cartel was established with an impressive level of professionalism. “The founding members took three years to prepare the operations. During the preparation phase, the basic principles for the operation of the agreement between the competitors were discussed and agreed, resulting in a written agreement,” highlighted the commissioner.
Full Content: CADE Gov