PRESS RELEASETHE CNC FINES THE UNDERTAKINGS INVOLVED IN THE FLUID PUMPS CARTELThe CNC Council has fined the Spanish Association of Fluid Pump Manufacturers(Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Bombas de Fluidos - AEFBF) and 19manufacturers and/or distributors of fluid pumps a total of 18 million euros forengaging in two anti-competitive practices. The Resolution is a result of theapplication of the Leniency Programme.Madrid, 28 June 2011
. On 14 January 2009 Grupo UTC (the controlling shareholder inGrupo Industrial Ercole Marelli, S.A., hereinafter Marelli) submitted a statement to theInvestigations Division of the CNC regarding a cartel in which it said it had participated,requesting exemption from any fine which might be imposed on it pursuant to article 65of Spanish Competition Act 15/2007 of 3 July 2007.Grupo UTC related in its statement how Marelli had participated since 2004, as amember of the Spanish Association of Fluid Pump Manufacturers, in different actionsthat could potentially amount to a breach of article 1 of the Competition Act:recommendation regarding general conditions of sale, exchange of information on priceincreases, agreement between the members of the AEFBF to adopt a recommendationrelating to hourly rates to be charged for after-sale services and agreement adopted byvarious competitors to charge a specific, independent price for the services provided inrelation to the commissioning of fire-fighting equipment.In accordance with the provisions of article 40 of the Competition Act, on 17 February2009 the Investigations Division of the CNC carried out simultaneous inspections at theheadquarters of the AEFBF and the premises of a series of undertakings.On 16 September 2009, in accordance with the provisions of article 49.1 of theCompetition Act, the Investigations Division decided to open formal proceedings,S/0185/09 Bombas de Fluidos
in respect of restrictive practices of the kind prohibitedby article 1 of the Competition Act.In its Resolution the CNC Council took the view that there was proof that the samecompanies and the Spanish
Association of Fluid Pump Manufacturers had participatedin two distinct anti-competitive practices.Firstly the Council took the view that there had been coordination between competingundertakings in the fluid pumps business, with the collaboration of the AEFBF, in orderto fix the terms of trading with their customers from 2004 until at least the time when theinspections took place. The Council took the view that this conduct constituted a breachof article 1.1.a) of the Competition Act and article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioningof the European Union and that, given the variables in which it occurred and thestructure adopted by the agreements, this breach should be treated as a cartel.