September 19, 2007 / 10:42 AM / 11 years ago

EU fines zip-makers over 328 mln euros for cartel

(Adds countries of each company)

BRUSSELS, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Wednesday it had fined a group of zip-makers including YKK, Prym and Coats a total of 328.6 million euros ($459.5 million) for running worldwide price-fixing cartels and sharing markets.

“The Commission has found four separate infringements in which these companies agreed on coordinated price increases, fixed minimum prices, allocated customers, shared markets and exchanged other commercially important and confidential information,” the European Union executive said.

Japanese firm YKK and Coats of Britain were hit with the biggest fines, of 150.3 million and 122.4 million euros respectively.

Prym of Germany was ordered to pay a lesser fine of 40.5 million euros because it alerted the Commission to a cartel, the Commission said in a statement.

“The decision names five subsidiaries of the above groups, together with Scovill group, A. Raymond, Berning & Soehne and the German trade association Fachverband Verbindungs- und Befestigungstechnik, which also participated in one of the infringements,” it said.

Scovill is a U.S. company, A. Raymond is French and Berning is German.

((Writing by William Schomberg, editing by Dale Hudson; Reuters Messaging:; Brussels newsroom +32 2 287 6832, fax +32 2 230 5573))

($1=.7151 euro) Keywords: EU CARTEL/ZIPS

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