The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority has imposed a fine of €3,857,000 on six manufacturers of industrial batteries as part of a settlement procedure. The Investigation and Prosecution Service concluded that the manufacturers prevented price competition in the market “by applying an agreed lead surcharge to the selling prices of motive power batteries to their clients in Belgium”.

The companies concerned are Battery Supplies, Celectric, Emrol, Enersys, Exide Technologies and Hoppecke.

The Investigation and Prosecution Service established that, in the period 2004–2011, they held quarterly meetings to agree on the applicable lead surcharge. 

One of the companies, Exide Technologies, made use of the leniency programme and denounced the practice in late 2013, in exchange for total immunity. 

Three other competitors (Hoppecke, Battery Supplies and Enersys) also found their way to the leniency programme and were granted a partial reduction of their fines in exchange for their cooperation and acknowledgement of their involvement. They respectively have to pay €1.2 million (-40%), €517,000 (-20%) and €1.79 million (-30%). 

The remaining two companies have been granted a 10% reduction as part of the settlement procedure and face fines of €71,000 (for Celectric) and €241,000 (for Emrol).