Cartel Digest

Consumer Detergents

You may share a link to this page on any of the sites listed below:

Consumer Detergents

Consumer Detergents
  Overall Cartel Period 2002-2005
  Participants Henkel AG & KGaA; Proctor & Gamble Co. and Proctor & Gamble International Sarl; Unilever PLC and Unilever NV
  Total Fines (DOJ) No fines imposed
  Total Fines (EC) €315.2 million

In 2011, the European Commission (“EC”) imposed fines totaling €315.2 million on Unilever and Procter & Gamble for operating a cartel together with Henkel in the consumer detergent industry in eight European Union countries.  Henkel received immunity due to it being the first to reveal the existence of the cartel to the EC in 2008.  Unilever and Procter & Gamble also received reductions in their fines by quickly acknowledging their participation in the cartel.  The cartel concerned powder detergents used in washing machines.  The EC has evidence suggesting that the cartel lasted from 2002 to 2005.


Enforcement Highlights:

  • The cartel covered Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.
  • Procter & Gamble was fined €211 million despite receiving a 50% leniency reduction.
Company Fine Date
Henkel AG & KGaA Immunity 04/13/2011
Proctor & Gamble Co. and Proctor & Gamble International Sarl € 211.2 million 04/13/2011
Unilever PLC and Unilever NV € 104 million 04/13/2011