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Steelmakers thyssenkrupp, Voestalpine, Salzgitter fined €646M for price fixing

Steelmakers thyssenkrupp AG, Voestalpine AG and Salzgitter AG were fined a total of about €646 million as part of a settlement with German anti-cartel watchdog Bundeskartellamt over price fixing in the country's steel industry.

The antitrust authority said Dec. 12 that thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, voestalpine Grobblech GmbH and Salzgitter's Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH unit, as well as three unnamed individuals, colluded to fix prices and surcharges for quarto plates, a kind of steel used for construction, bridges, ships and pipelines.

The fine is for cartel activity from mid-2002 to June 2016. Aktien-Gesellschaft der Dillinger Hüttenwerke, which was part of the cartel, was spared from fines as it was the first company to cooperate with the watchdog.

Voestalpine, which also cooperated in the probe, said in a same-day release that its share of the fine totaled €65.5 million. Thyssenkrupp had allocated €370 million in provisions for the case and declined to comment, according to Reuters.

The watchdog said the fines are not final and can be appealed to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.