EU fines 17 firms 622 mln euros for bathroom cartel

BRUSSELS, June 23 (BestGrowthStock) – European Union antitrust
regulators fined 17 companies in the bathroom fittings industry
a total of 622 million euros ($835 million) on Wednesday for
fixing prices, with lower penalties for five crisis-hit firms.

The European Commission, the EU competition watchdog, said
the companies operated a cartel between 1992 and 2004 across six
European Union countries.

Ideal Standard, which makes and sells American Standard
bathroom ceramics and other products, received the biggest fine
at 326 million euros — a penalty that had been reduced by 30
percent because the company cooperated with the regulator.

The other companies fined are Artweger, Cisal, Dornbracht,
Duravit, Duscholux, Grohe, Hansa, Kludi, Mamoli, Masco, Roca,
RAF, Sanitec, Teorema, Villeroy & Boch (VIBG_p.DE: ) and
Zucchetti.

Masco, a U.S. company whose main subsidiaries are Hansgrohe
and Hueppe, escaped a fine as it was the first to provide
information about the cartel, the Commission said.

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(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Dale Hudson)

EU fines 17 firms 622 mln euros for bathroom cartel