Cartel Digest

Prestressing Steel

Prestressing Steel
  Overall Cartel Period 1984-2002
  Participants ArcelorMittal; Emesa/Galycas/ArcelorMittal; GlobalSteelWire/Tycsa; Proderac; Companhia Previdente/Socitrel; Fapricela; Nedri/HIT Groep; WDI/Pampus; DWK/Saarstahl; voestalpine Austria Draht; Rautaruukki/Ovako; Italcables/Antonini; Redaelli; CB Trafilati Acciai; I.T.A.S.; Ori Martin/Siderurgica Latina Martin; Emme Holding
  Total Fines (DOJ) No fines imposed
  Total Fines (EC) €269.9 million

The European Commission (“EC”) fined producers of prestressing steel for participating in a cartel over an 18 year period in every country that then formed the European Union (1984-2002) except for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Greece.  Prestressing steel is a high-strength steel usually in the form of long, curled steel wires and is often used with concrete in construction sites to make foundations, balconies or bridges.  The Commission’s investigation revealed that seventeen producers had participated in a price-fixing and market-sharing conspiracy called at one time, "Club Zurich" and later, “Club Europe”. The cartel persisted for nearly twenty years, from 1984 to 2002, during which the members met over five hundred and fifty times—often in the margin of official trade meetings—at hotels all over Europe to fix individual quotas and prices, allocate clients and exchange sensitive commercial information.  The EC discovered the cartel in 2002 when one of the producers seeking leniency, DWK/ Saarstahl, approached the Commission with evidence of the anti-competitive conduct.

 

Enforcement Highlights

  • DWK/Saarstahl received full immunity for its cooperation with the Commission.
  • The EC imposed a 60% increase in ArcelorMittal’s fines because the company had already been fined twice for cartels in the steel sector.  
Europe
Company Fine Date
ArcelorMittal € 45.7 million 10/04/2004
Emesa/Galycas/ArcelorMittal € 36.7 million 10/04/2004
GlobalSteelWire/Tycsa € 54.4 million 10/04/2004
Proderac € 500,000 10/04/2004
Companhia Previdente/Socitrel € 12.6 million 10/04/2004
Fapricela € 8.9 million 10/04/2004
Nedri/HIT Groep € 6.9 million 10/04/2004
WDI/Pampus € 46.6 million 10/04/2004
DWK/Saarstahl Immunity 10/04/2004
voestalpine Austria Draht € 22 million 10/04/2004
Rautaruukki/Ovako € 4.3 million 10/04/2004
Italcables/Antonini € 2.4 million 10/04/2004
Redaelli € 6.3 million 10/04/2004
CB Trafilati Acciai € 2.6 million 10/04/2004
I.T.A.S. € 800,000 10/04/2004
Ori Martin/Siderurgica Latina Martin € 16 million 10/04/2004
Emme Holding € 3.2 million 10/04/2004