Commission is likely to open more cartel cases against car-parts manufacturers

It has been reported that high officials within the European Commission have stated that more cartel cases against car-parts manufacturers are likely to come and that cartel investigations in the sector had not yet come to an end.

The Commission has already adopted five decisions imposing fines amounting to EUR 1.4 billion that affected companies active in markets of wire harnesses foam, parking heaters and engine starters. In addition, investigations are currently on- going against airbags, thermal systems and car lights manufacturers.

Competition authorities from Canada, Japan and the US have also investigated car-parts manufacturers for price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy. Investigations in the US have resulted in fines against dozens of companies totaling billion of dollars and in at least twenty executives being condemned to imprisonment.

In relation to this topic, GA&P Brussels participated in a European Commission’s study on the operation of the system of access to vehicle repair and maintenance information, where it, inter alia, assessed the competition concerns stemming from the refusal from to grant access to repair and maintenance information. The study was published in 2014 and is publicly accessible here.