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Question & Answer

European Commission - MEMO/02/23   13/02/2002

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MEMO/02/23

Brussels, 13 February 2002

Question & Answer

On the Leniency Policy

    How many cartels were unveiled and punished since the adoption of the original Leniency Policy in 1996?

Since the 1996 Leniency Notice was adopted, the Commission has taken formal decisions in 16 cartel cases in which companies co-operated with the investigations. Decisions adopted include Alloy Surcharge (1998), British Sugar (1998), Pre-insulated pipes (1998), Greek Ferries (1998), Seamless Steel Tubes (1999), FETTCSA (Maritime Transport, 2000), Lysine (2000), Graphite Electrodes (July 2001), SAS-Maersk Air (July 2001), Sodium Gluconate (October 2001), Vitamins (November 2001), Belgian Brewers (December 2001), Luxembourg Brewers (December 2001), Citric acid ( December 2001), Zinc phosphate (December 2001) and Carbonless paper (December 2001).

All 16 cases together represent a total amount of fine of € 2 240 million.

Reductions of fines granted under the Leniency notice in the above cases range from total immunity from fines (100% reduction) granted with respect to a very early and continuous cooperation, to small reductions (10% reduction), granted when the companies did not actively cooperate during the investigation, but did not substantially contest the facts as set out in the Statement of Objections.

    How many companies filed for leniency since 1996?

More than 80 companies have filed Leniency applications in cartel cases since the adoption of the Notice.

    How many companies benefited from full immunity from fines to date?

Only three companies benefited from full immunity under the old Notice : Rhône-Poulenc with regard to two of the three vitamins cartelsin which it was found to be involved (see IP/01/1625, of November, 21, 2001),Brasserie de Luxembourg (a subsidiary of Interbrew) in the Luxembourg Brewers case (see IP/01/1740, of December, 5, 2001), and Sappi in the Carbonless paper case (see IP/01/1892, of December, 20, 2001).

In addition, two companies benefited from a very high degree of reduction of their fine, in regard of their decisive and early cooperation under the so-called Section B of the 1996 Leniency notice. This is the caseof Fujisawa in the Sodium Gluconate case (80% reduction)


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