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The European Commission has informed automotive starter batteries manufacturers Banner, Clarios (former JC Autobatterie), Exide, FET (and its predecessor Elettra), and Rombat as well as trade association Eurobat and its service provider Kellen of its preliminary view that they have breached EU antitrust rules by colluding to increase the prices of automotive starter batteries sold to car producers in the European Economic Area (‘EEA’).

The Commission has concerns that between 2004 until 2017 the five starter batteries manufacturers created, published and agreed to use new indices in their price negotiations with car producers (the so-called ‘Eurobat Premium System’). The aim of this alleged conduct was to fix an important element of the final battery price. The Commission is also concerned that Eurobat and its service provider Kellen were aware of the alleged conduct and actively contributed to it by assisting the battery manufacturers in creating and running the Eurobat premium system.

If the Commission’s preliminary view is confirmed, this conduct would infringe Airteagal 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’) and Airteagal 53 den Chomhaontú LEE, a thoirmisceann cairtéil agus cleachtais ghnó sriantacha eile. Ní thugann seoladh Ráiteas Agóidí réamhbhreith ar thoradh imscrúdaithe.

Commissioner Didier Reynders, in charge of competition policy, said: “To be effective, competition requires economic operators to act and to determine their prices independently of each other. We are concerned that batteries suppliers limited price competition, thus harming their customers, in this case car producers, and, ultimately, European consumers. The addressees of the Statement of Objections now have the possibility to respond to our concerns.”

Tá press release ar fáil líne.

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