The European Commission has fined the companies Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp for a total of €992 million for operating cartels for the installation and maintenance of lifts and escalators in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. The decision addresses 17 subsidiaries of the above mentioned groups’ companies together with Mitsubishi Elevator Europe B.V. who participated in the Dutch cartel. Over the period between 1995 and 2004 the companies were involved in bid rigging, price fixing and market petitioning the allocation of projects and the exchange of commercially important and confidential information. The Commission estimates that the effects of the cartel will last for another twenty to fifty years in view of the fact that maintenance is usually carried out by the company that installed an elevator or lift in the building in the first place. Following leniency applications under the Commission’s leniency programme, KONE subsidiaries received full immunity for the cartel in Belgium and Luxembourg and Otis Netherlands received full immunity in respect of the Dutch cartel. The fines imposed on the ThyssenKrupp were increased by 50% for being a repeat offender. The Commission’s investigation, which started with dawn raid inspections in January 2004, uncovered illegal cartels in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. This was confirmed and supported by evidence in numerous documents and statements by the leniency applicants. Although the cartel behaviour was quite similar in the four countries, there were four separate cartels in which the subsidiaries of the four multinational groups were involved. [21 February 2007]