On 10 February 2011 the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO)
imposed fines totalling approx. €20.5m on three
manufacturers of fire engines for price fixing and quota
The companies fined are Albert Ziegler GmbH & Co. KG,
Schlingmann GmbH & Co. KG, both with locations in Germany
and Rosenbauer-Group with locations in Germany and Austria. The
proceedings against a fourth manufacturer of fire engines are still
pending. The FCO also fined a chartered accountant due to its
participation in the cartel agreement.
At least from 2001 the companies had agreed on price fixing and
sales quotas. For several years the four companies involved granted
target quotas to each other. The companies notified a chartered
accountant based in Switzerland of their sales data. From these
data the accountant compiled a list of projects. In order to
control whether the companies complied with the target quotas, the
companies met regularly at the Zürich airport. Moreover
the companies agreed on price increases.
In addition to the Zürich meetings, sales directors of
the companies met regularly in order to allocate the municipal
public tenders for fire engines. The proceedings against the
individuals involved had been handed over to the public prosecution
and criminal proceedings for bid-rigging have been initiated
against the individuals.
The FCO searched the companies four times from May 2009 to July
2010. Searches also took place in Austria where the FCO was
successfully supported by the Austrian Competition Authority.
According to the FCO the companies involved agreed on a
settlement. However, the fining decision is not yet final and
To view Community Week, Issue 508; 11th February 2011
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