The Commission has fined eleven groups of companies a total of €750 712 500 for participating in a cartel for gas insulated switchgear projects in violation of the EC Treaty’s ban on restrictive business practices (Article 81). The companies involved are ABB, Alstom, Areva, Fuji, Hitachi Japan AE Power Systems, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Schneider, Siemens, Toshiba and VA Tech. For most of the duration of the infringement a former Alstom subsidiary, bought by Areva four months before the end of the cartel, is jointly and severally liable with Alstom for the infringement. The Areva group is liable for the infringement for the period after its purchase of the subsidiary, up to the end of the cartel four months later. Between 1988 and 2004, the companies rigged bids for procurement contracts, fixed prices, allocated projects to each other, shared markets and exchanged commercially important and confidential information. ABB received full immunity from fines under the Commission’s leniency programme, as it was the first company to come forward with information about the cartel. The total fines imposed in this case (€ 750 712 500) make it the largest set of fines ever imposed on a single cartel, and the fine of € 396 562 500 on Siemens, Germany constitutes the largest ever fine that the Commission has imposed on a single company for a single cartel infringement.