Unilever fined €104m for three-year washing powder cartel

Anglo Dutch company Unilever has been fined €104m by the European Commission for its role in a washing powder and detergent cartel.

US firm Procter & Gamble was fined over €211m for its role in the cartel but German group Henkel was given immunity because it alerted the authorities.
The cartel operated in eight countries from January 2002 to March 2005. It began during a round-table discussion involving all three firms to discuss environmental improvements in their products, the Commission said.
Unilever took a provision of €110m to cover the eventual fine earlier this year.
The fine was reduced because the companies acknowledged their participation in the cartel, Commission vice president Joaquín Almunia said in a statement.
‘But companies should be under no illusion that the Commission will pursue its relentless fight against cartels, which extract higher prices from consumers than if companies compete fairly and on merit,’ he said.

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