The Spanish Audiencia Nacional rejected the appeal lodged by Bombas Ideal, S.A. and Bombas Bloch, S.A. requesting that the decision fining them for their involvement in a cartel in the fluid pumps sector be declared null. The unlawful practices relate to exchanges of information, alignment of commercial conditions and the signing of agreements between companies, whether or not members of the Spanish Association of Fluid Pump Manufacturers.
The appellants argued that the facts had not been assessed correctly, as the agreements were not secret. However, the Audiencia Nacional considered that the agreements were secret because, although there was an association and the minutes of its meetings were not secret, the mechanisms that the undertakings intended to implement, and actually implemented, to ensure the execution of the agreements, and to guarantee the continuity of the exchanges of information, were secret.
Moreover, the fact that no price-fixing exists does not mean that such conduct was not anticompetitive, because the coordinated action of competitors regarding certain commercial variables puts them in a more advantageous bargaining position in relation to clients than that in which they would have been without the agreement.