German court slashes cement cartel fines

German court slashes cement cartel fines
Published: 30 June 2009

A German court has slashed the fines levied by antitrust authorities against five producers, citing difficulties in assessing the profits reaped from the collusion.

The court in Duesseldorf nearly halved the total fines to EUR330m (US$462m) from the EUR649m initially imposed by the German Cartel Office in 2003 on companies including Lafarge and Holcim.

A court spokesman said the fines were cut because some assumptions made by the Cartel Office to calculate the surplus reaped by the companies could not be upheld.

HeidelbergCement , which was handed the biggest fine, said on Monday it now had to pay EUR170m instead of EUR252m initially.

Holcim said its fine was cut to EUR14.6m from EUR74m, adding it would now examine its legal options.

The court said Lafarge’s fine was cut to EUR24m, down from an original EUR86m.

Dyckerhoff said it had to pay EUR50m, down from EUR95m previously.

Privately held Schwenk’s fine was roughly halved to EUR70m.

Source: Reuters News