In 2007, the Commission imposed fines of EUR 992 million on KONE, Otis, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp for their participation in four separate single and continuous infringements in the market for elevators and escalators. Between 1995 and 2004, the undertakings had agreed to allocate public tenders and other contracts among themselves, not to compete with each other, and to exchange commercially sensitive information in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups subsequently brought actions to reduce the financial penalties imposed and/or annul the Commission’s decision.
In its decisions, handed down on 13 July 2011, the General Court dismissed the appeals by Otis, KONE and Schindler, which included pleas relating to, amongst others, the approach adopted by the Commission in the case to the calculation of fines, reductions for leniency cooperation and non-contestation of the facts, the liability of a parent company and the application of EU competition laws to cartels functioning at national level.
The fines imposed on the ThyssenKrupp Group were reduced by approximately EUR 160 million following a finding by the General Court that the Commission had erred in increasing the fine for recidivism (it was not clear that the subsidiary companies in the elevators and escalators infringement were the same addressees as in a previous cartel).