The company that revealed the cartel to the authority was not fined

The European Commission has imposed a total fine of € 131m on five groups for participating in a cartel for marine hoses between 1986 and 2007.

Bridgestone, Dunlop Oil & Marine/Continental, Trelleborg, Parker ITR and Manuli were all accused of violating bans on cartels and restrictive business practices in the EC Treaty (Article 81) and the EEA Agreement (Article 53).

Yokohama also participated in the cartel but was not fined because it revealed the existence of the cartel to the Commission. Manuli was granted a 30% reduction of its fine for its cooperation with the investigation under the Commission's leniency programme.

The cartel members fixed prices for marine hoses, allocated bids and markets and exchanged commercially sensitive information.

The fines for Bridgestone and Parker ITR were increased by 30% because of their leadership of the cartel.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: ‘For 20 years, this cartel added to the prices consumers paid for their oil deliveries. I will not tolerate illegal cartels and will continue to impose heavy fines on those companies found guilty of this kind of serious malpractice.’

Marine hoses are used to transport crude oil to and from ships for transportation from production sites.