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Switchgear producers fined Sk 350 mln.

The Antitrust Office (PMÚ) handed down a Sk350-million fine to companies from across Europe and Asia for forming a gas insulated switchgear (GIS) cartel. The office said an agreement the companies signed in 1988 violates the European Commission Treaty's ban on restrictive business practices by allegedly fixing prices, carving up the global market and coordinating GIS public procurement procedures. The agreement covered business across the world, except the United States and Canada.

The Antitrust Office (PMÚ) handed down a Sk350-million fine to companies from across Europe and Asia for forming a gas insulated switchgear (GIS) cartel. The office said an agreement the companies signed in 1988 violates the European Commission Treaty's ban on restrictive business practices by allegedly fixing prices, carving up the global market and coordinating GIS public procurement procedures. The agreement covered business across the world, except the United States and Canada.

GIS is the main element at electricity distribution stations that regulates the flow of energy in electrical distribution networks.

The PMÚ said it launched the proceedings based on evidence obtained from one of the cartel participants, who asked for leniency in exchange.

The PMÚ fined Siemens AG the highest sum, at Sk40 million. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Toshiba Corporation got high fines as well, at Sk35 million each. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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