Since the beginning of 2013, the Spanish Competition Commission (the “CNC”) has reiterated its commitment to pursue cartel infringements, adopting 4 fining decisions with fines totalling more than €70 million.
On 14 January, the CNC imposed fines of €20 million on two transport associations and the Barcelona Port Authority for having operated a cartel in the market for the transport by land of containers in the Barcelona Port.
On 15 February, the CNC imposed fines of €9 million on three manufacturers of paper products for having agreed to share the Spanish market between 1995 and 2010. The CNC granted full immunity to ADVEO GROUP INTERNATIONAL and reduced PACSA’s fine by 35%.
On 28 February, the Competition Authority imposed fines of €26 million on ten companies active in the manufacture of polyurethane flexible foam and their trade association. Pursuant to the leniency programme, the CNC decided to grant full immunity to RECTICEL and a 40% reduction in the fine to FLEX 2000. A third company also requested a reduction of its fine but the CNC considered that it had not provided significant added value to the information already at its disposal.
On 11 March, the CNC imposed fines of €16 million on 11 companies for having operated a cartel in the asphalt market in the Cantabria region between 1998 and 2011.
In all cases except the polyurethane case, the CNC carried out unannounced inspections. On average, proceedings took 20 months from commencement to final decision. Two of the four cases were initiated pursuant to leniency applications in which the CNC granted both full immunity and significant fine reductions and the average fine per entity so far this year is €2.5 million.