The European Commission's Directorate General for Competition has published a very useful document setting out statistics on EU cartel investigations.

The document includes even the recent Trucks case which involved the highest ever individual fines (on Daimler and DAF).

Key highlights include:

  • So far in 2016, there have been cartel competition decisions taken against ten "undertakings" (i.e., economic operators or businesses).
  • Total fines on cartels imposed between 2012 and Year to Date in 2016 is €8,670,210,000.
  • The document sets out the total fines imposed in each year since 2012 (both adjusted and non-adjusted for European Court judgments).
  • The document lists the ten highest total and individual cartel fines since 1969 - all of which have been since 2001 which is consistent with the notion that "fine inflation" has increased recently.
  • The cases with three of the four highest level of fines have all be in the last four years (see table 1 below).
  • The undertakings which had the highest fines are outlined in table 2 below.

1. Cartel Cases with the Highest Fines 1969-2016

Year Case Fine (€)
2016 Trucks 2,926,499,000
2012 TV and Computer Monitor Tubes 1,409,588,000
2008 Carglass 1,185,500,000
2014 Automotive Bearings 953,306,000
2007 Elevators and Escalators 832,422,250
2013 Euro Interest Rate Derivatives (EIRD) 824,583,000
2001 Vitamins 790,515,000
2013-2015 Yen Interest Rate Derviatives (YIRD) 684,679,000
2007-2012 Gas Insulated Switchgear (Including RE-adoption) 675,445,000

2009

E.On/GDF Collusion 640,000,000

Year

Case Fine (€)
2016 Daimler 1,008,766,000
2016 DAF 752,679,000
2008 Saint Gobain Car Glass 715,000,000
2012

Phillips TV and Computer Monitor Tubs (of this fine, €391,940,000 jointly

and severally with LG Electronics)

705,296,000
2012

LG Electronics TV and Computer Monitor Tubes (of this fine,

€391,940,000 jointly and severally with Phillips)

687,537,000
2016 Volvo/Renault Trucks 670,448,000
2016 Iveco Trucks 496,606,000

2013

Deutsche Bank Euro Interest Rate Derivatives (EIRD) 465,861,000
2001 F, Hoffmann-La Roche Vitamins 462,000,000
2007

Siemens Gas Insulated Switchgear

396,562,000

Some of the more recent fines may be adjusted in due course on appeal to the General Court/Court of Justice of the European Union but it is clear that more recent fines are clearly much higher than earlier fines. For more information click here.