On December 19, 2019, the FCO imposed fines of €195,000 on four German suppliers of liquid gas for geographic market sharing between 2006 and 2016.[1] In setting the fines, the FCO notably considered the low impact of the cartel arrangements due to the suppliers’ small market shares.

Further, on December 23, 2019, the FCO imposed fines totaling €8 million on six German companies embossing vehicle registration plates and five individuals for market sharing and other anti- competitive practices.[2] The FCO found that, between 2000 and 2015, the companies exchanged sensitive information, agreed which company was in charge to operate a local sales office on 40% of about 700 local markets in Germany, and shared profits and losses of these offices.

On January 13, 2020, the FCO imposed fines of €154.6 million on seven German crop protection wholesalers and the employees involved for distributing gross price lists and agreeing on discount schemes and individual prices between 1998 and 2015.[3] The leniency applicant received full immunity and escaped a fine, seven cartelists eventually settled with the FCO. An additional company settled with the FCO in early February and accepted a €4 million fine; proceedings are ongoing against one other company.

[1]              FCO Press Release, December 19, 2019, available here.

[2]              FCO Press Release, December 23, 2019, available here.

[3]              FCO Press Release (B10-22/15), January 13, 2020, available in English here.