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Commission Decision of 20 September 2006 relating to a proceeding under Article 81 of the Treaty establishing the European Community and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement (Case COMP/F/38.121 — Fittings) (notified under document number C(2006) 4180) (Only the English, German, Spanish, Italian and French versions are authentic) (Text with EEA relevance) (2007/691/EC)

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Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally adopted).

  1. Introductory Text

  2. SUMMARY OF THE INFRINGEMENT

    1. (1) The Decision was addressed to Aalberts Industries NV, Aquatis France...

      1. The Decision was addressed to Aalberts Industries NV, Aquatis France...

    2. (2) The above 30 legal entities (belonging to 11 undertakings, with...

      1. The above 30 legal entities (belonging to 11 undertakings, with...

    3. (3) The infringement’s main features included: competitors discussing prices, agreeing, implementing...

      1. The infringement’s main features included: competitors discussing prices, agreeing, implementing...

  3. THE FITTINGS INDUSTRY

    1. (4) The product concerned is copper fittings including copper alloy fittings...

      1. The product concerned is copper fittings including copper alloy fittings...

    2. (5) The investigation showed that the cartel covered the whole of...

      1. The investigation showed that the cartel covered the whole of...

  4. PROCEDURE

    1. (6) In January 2001 the company Mueller Industries Inc informed the...

      1. In January 2001 the company Mueller Industries Inc informed the...

    2. (7) On 22 and 23 March 2001, the Commission carried out...

      1. On 22 and 23 March 2001, the Commission carried out...

    3. (8) In September 2003, after the inspections and after having sent...

      1. In September 2003, after the inspections and after having sent...

    4. (9) The Statement of Objections was addressed to 30 undertakings belonging...

      1. The Statement of Objections was addressed to 30 undertakings belonging...

  5. FUNCTIONING OF THE CARTEL

    1. (10) Whilst there are indications that the first anti-competitive contacts between...

      1. Whilst there are indications that the first anti-competitive contacts between...

    2. (11) Further evidence in the Commission’s file shows that this infringement...

      1. Further evidence in the Commission’s file shows that this infringement...

    3. (12) The overall structure of the anti-competitive arrangements for the fittings...

      1. The overall structure of the anti-competitive arrangements for the fittings...

  6. FINES Basic amount

    1. Gravity

      1. (13) Regarding the gravity of the infringement, impact on the market...

        1. Regarding the gravity of the infringement, impact on the market...

    2. Differential treatment

      1. (14) As there was considerable disparity between each undertaking’s weighting in...

        1. As there was considerable disparity between each undertaking’s weighting in...

      2. (15) The undertakings have been divided into six categories according to...

        1. The undertakings have been divided into six categories according to...

      3. (16) Accordingly Viegener and Aalberts were placed in the first category....

        1. Accordingly Viegener and Aalberts were placed in the first category....

    3. Sufficient deterrence

      1. (17) In order to set the amount of the fine at...

        1. In order to set the amount of the fine at...

      2. (18) Accordingly and in line with previous decisions, the Commission considered...

        1. Accordingly and in line with previous decisions, the Commission considered...

    4. Duration

      1. (19) Individual multiplying factors were also applied according to the duration...

        1. Individual multiplying factors were also applied according to the duration...

  7. AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES

    1. Participation in the infringement after the inspections (20) The Decision established that Oystertec/Advanced Fluid Connections, Comap, Frabo...

      1. (20) The Decision established that Oystertec/Advanced Fluid Connections, Comap, Frabo and...

        1. The Decision established that Oystertec/Advanced Fluid Connections, Comap, Frabo and...

      2. (21) This justified an increase in the basic amount of the...

        1. This justified an increase in the basic amount of the...

      3. (22) However, as far as Frabo is concerned, the Decision recognises...

        1. However, as far as Frabo is concerned, the Decision recognises...

    2. Misleading information

      1. (23) Furthermore in its reply to the Statement of Objections, Advanced...

        1. Furthermore in its reply to the Statement of Objections, Advanced...

      2. (24) This aggravating circumstance justified an increase in the basic amount...

        1. This aggravating circumstance justified an increase in the basic amount...

  8. ATTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES

    1. (25) Several undertakings claimed some or all of the following attenuating...

      1. Several undertakings claimed some or all of the following attenuating...

    2. Cooperation outside the leniency notice

      1. (26) The Decision considered that Frabo’s cooperation qualified for an attenuating...

        1. The Decision considered that Frabo’s cooperation qualified for an attenuating...

      2. (27) Frabo should not be penalised for its cooperation by imposing...

        1. Frabo should not be penalised for its cooperation by imposing...

  9. APPLICATION OF THE 10 % TURNOVER LIMIT

    1. (28) Where appropriate, the 10 % worldwide turnover limit of Article 23(2)...

      1. Where appropriate, the 10 % worldwide turnover limit of Article 23(2)...

  10. APPLICATION OF THE 1996 LENIENCY NOTICE

    1. (29) Mueller, IMI, Delta, Frabo and Advanced Fluid Connections co-operated with...

      1. Mueller, IMI, Delta, Frabo and Advanced Fluid Connections co-operated with...

    2. Exemption from fines

      1. (30) Mueller was the first undertaking to inform the Commission about...

        1. Mueller was the first undertaking to inform the Commission about...

    3. Reduction of fines

      1. (31) On 18 September 2003 IMI approached the Commission with a...

        1. On 18 September 2003 IMI approached the Commission with a...

      2. (32) On 10 March 2004, Delta submitted a leniency application. Delta’s...

        1. On 10 March 2004, Delta submitted a leniency application. Delta’s...

      3. (33) On 19 July 2004, Frabo submitted a leniency application. To...

        1. On 19 July 2004, Frabo submitted a leniency application. To...

      4. (34) On 24 May 2005, Advanced Fluid Connections (Oystertec) submitted a...

        1. On 24 May 2005, Advanced Fluid Connections (Oystertec) submitted a...

  11. CLOSURE OF PROCEEDINGS

    1. (35) In view of the elements brought forward by the undertakings...

      1. In view of the elements brought forward by the undertakings...

    2. (36) However there was not sufficient evidence indicating that FNAS actively...

      1. However there was not sufficient evidence indicating that FNAS actively...

    3. (37) Consequently, the Commission came to the conclusion that FNAS was...

      1. Consequently, the Commission came to the conclusion that FNAS was...

  12. DECISION

    1. (38) The addressees of the Decision and the duration of their...

      1. Aalberts Industries NV, from 25 June 2003 until 1 April...

    2. (39) Following the above recitals, the following fines were imposed:

      1. (a) Aalberts Industries NV: of which jointly and severally with:...

    3. (40) The undertakings listed in recital 38 were ordered to bring...

      1. The undertakings listed in recital 38 were ordered to bring...

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