Cartel Digest

Power Transformers

Power Transformers
  Overall Cartel Period 1999-2003
  Participants Siemens AG; ABB Ltd.; ALSTOM (Société Anonyme) and AREVA T&D SA; Fuji Electrics Holding Co., Ltd.; Hitachi Ltd.; Toshiba Corp.; AW Tyree Transformers Pty Ltd.; Schneider Electric; Wilson Transformers Co. P/L
  Total Fines (DOJ) No fines imposed
  Total Fines (EC) €67.6 million

In February 2007, the European Commission (“EC”) launched raids on manufacturers of power transformers used by electricity suppliers to transmit electricity to end customers. According to the EC, from 1999 to 2003, Japanese and European manufacturers implemented a “gentlemen’s agreement” under which the Japanese manufacturers would not sell power transformers in Europe, and vice-versa. At the time of the infringement, the combined annual sales in the European Economic Area were estimated at approximately €100 million. In 2004 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”) had initiated its own investigation of anti-competitive price-fixing and market-sharing in the power transformers industry spanning from 1993 to 1999.  The ACCC’s investigation resulted in the Federal Court of Australia imposing fines on several of the same companies that would later be targets of the EC’s decision.

 

Enforcement Highlights:

  • The EC has imposed fines totaling over €67 million.
  • The ACCC imposed fines totaling $33.5 million AUD in both the power transformers and distribution transformers industries.
  • ABB’s fine by the EC was subject to a 50% increase because the company was found to have previously engaged in similar cartel activities.
  • Siemens received full immunity in the European Union for being the first company to come forward and cooperate with the EC in the investigation.  
Australia
Company Fine Date
(Power Transformers) ABB Transmission and Distribution Ltd. $ 5.5 million 04/07/2004
(Distribution Transformers) ABB Power Transmission Pty Ltd. $ 3 million 04/07/2004
(Distribution Transformers) Schneider Electric $ 5.5 million 04/07/2004
(Distribution Transformers) Wilson Transformer Co. P/L $ 2.5 million 04/07/2004
(Distribution Transformers) AW Tyree Transfomers Pty Ltd. $ 3.5 million 04/07/2004
(Distribution Transformers) Alstom $ 1.5 million 04/07/2004
(Power Transformers) ABB Power Transmission Pty Ltd. $ 5.5 million 04/07/2004
(Power Transformers) Alstom $ 5.5 million 04/07/2004
(Power Transformers) Wilson Transformer Co. P/L $ 1.5 million 04/07/2004
Europe
Company Fine Date
Siemens AG Immunity 10/07/2009
ABB Ltd. € 33.8 million 10/07/2009
ALSTOM (Société Anonyme) and AREVA T&D SA € 16.5 million 10/07/2009
Fuji Electrics Holdings Co., Ltd. € 1.7 million 10/07/2009
Hitachi Ltd. € 2.5 million 10/07/2009
Toshiba Corp. € 13.2 million 10/07/2009
Australia
Individual Company Prison Sentence Fine Date
Graham Jones, General Manager of Distribution Transformer Division ABB Transmission and Distribution Ltd. $ 60,000
Russell Ellen, General Manager of Distribution Transformer Division ABB Transmission and Distribution Ltd. $ 25,000
Douglas Pitt, Managing Director ABB Transmission and Distribution Ltd. $ 100,000
Russel Stocker, Managing Director Schneider Electric $ 150,000
Ray Boyce, Managing Director AW Tyree Transfomers Pty Ltd. $ 150,000
Douglas Pitt, Managing Director ABB Power Transmission Pty Ltd. $ 100,000
Chris Tape, Managing Director ABB Power Transmission Pty Ltd. $ 60,000
David Toogood, ABB National Business Development Manager ABB Power Transmission Pty Ltd. $ 35,000
Sandy Elliot, Managing Director Alstom $ 150,000
Robert Wilson, Managing Director Wilson Transformer Co. P/L $ 100,000