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Document 52021AT40299(02)

Summary of Commission Decision of 29 September 2020 relating to a proceeding under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement (Case AT.40299 – Closure Systems) (notified under document C(2020) 6486) (Only the English text is authentic) (Text with EEA relevance) 2021/C 40/06

C/2020/6486

OJ C 40, 5.2.2021, p. 7–11 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

5.2.2021   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 40/7


Summary of Commission Decision

of 29 September 2020

relating to a proceeding under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement

(Case AT.40299 – Closure Systems)

(notified under document C(2020) 6486)

(Only the English text is authentic)

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2021/C 40/06)

On 29 September 2020, the Commission adopted a decision relating to proceedings under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 53 of the EEA agreement. In accordance with the provisions of Article 30 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 (1) , the Commission herewith publishes the names of the parties and the main content of the decision, including any penalties imposed, having regard to the legitimate interest of undertakings in the protection of their business secrets.

1.   INTRODUCTION

(1)

On 29 September 2020, the Commission adopted a Decision relating to two single and continuous infringements of Article 101 of the Treaty and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement.

(2)

The first infringement consisted of price coordination and exchange of commercially sensitive information with a view to reducing competitive uncertainty for sales of door modules and window regulators of a certain passenger car model in the European Economic Area (‘EEA’). This first infringement took place from 12 August 2010 to 21 February 2011.

(3)

The second infringement consisted of price coordination and exchange of commercially sensitive information with a view to reducing competitive uncertainty for sales of latches and strikers in relation to certain manufacturers of passenger cars in the EEA. This second infringement took place from 15 June 2009 to 7 May 2012.

(4)

This Decision thus concerns the supply of closure systems for passenger cars. Closure systems serve to maintain and control access to a vehicle and to reliably open and close a vehicle's doors, lift-gates, trunks, hoods and door windows in order to protect the vehicle and its occupants. Closure systems encompass various components such as latches, strikers, window systems and door modules.

(5)

Latches and strikers are used to secure automotive side and sliding doors, tailgates and trunks.

(6)

Window regulators are manual or electronic window lift assemblies for front and rear door applications in vehicles to automatically raise or lower windows. Depending on the customer's preferences, window regulators may be integrated into door modules or procured on a stand-alone basis.

(7)

A door module is an assembly of components that operate the door's electronic and mechanical functionalities. It consists of a rubber-sealed carrier, onto which a variety of door components such as the window lift mechanism, the wing mirror electric motor, the wiring, the loud speaker, the door latch inner release cable, a latch and various switches are fitted, forming a ‘cassette’.

(8)

This Decision is addressed to the following legal entities being part of the following undertakings (the ‘parties’):

MAGNA: Magna International Inc., Magna Closures S.p.A., Magna Mirrors Holding GmbH and MAGNA International Europe GmbH

BROSE: Brose Beteiligungs-Kommanditgesellschaft, Coburg, Brose Beteiligungs-Kommanditgesellschaft II, Coburg, Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Bamberg (2), Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Coburg (3) and Brose Verwaltung SE, Coburg (4)

KIEKERT: Kiekert AG

2.   CASE DESCRIPTION

2.1.   Procedure

(9)

MAGNA submitted an immunity application on 5 May 2015 under the terms of the 2006 Leniency Notice (5) in relation to collusive contacts related to supplies of certain car parts to car manufacturers in the EEA. Following unannounced inspections, KIEKERT applied on 29 March 2016 for immunity from fines or, in the alternative, for a reduction of fines under the Leniency Notice. On 11 April 2016, BROSE applied for immunity from fines or, in the alternative, for a reduction of fines under the Leniency Notice.

(10)

On 9 July 2019, the Commission initiated proceedings pursuant to Article 11(6) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 against the parties with a view to engaging in settlement discussions with them. Settlement meetings and contacts between the Commission and each party took place between September 2019 and March 2020. Subsequently, all parties submitted their formal request to settle pursuant to Article 10(2) of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 (6).

(11)

On 30 June 2020, the Commission adopted a statement of objections addressed to the parties. All of the parties replied to the statement of objections by confirming that it reflected the contents of their settlement submissions and that they remained committed to following the settlement procedure.

(12)

The Advisory Committee on Restrictive Practices and Dominant Positions issued a favourable opinion on 23 September 2020.

2.2.   Summary of the infringements

(13)

This Decision concerns two separate bilateral single and continuous infringements:

(a)

The first infringement concerns price coordination and exchange of commercially sensitive information between MAGNA and BROSE related to the supply of door modules and window regulators for passenger C-class car models A205, C205, S205 and W205, (hereinafter ‘BR205’) to Daimler.

(b)

The second infringement concerns price coordination and exchange of commercially sensitive information between MAGNA and KIEKERT related to the supply of latches and strikers for passenger cars to BMW and Daimler; for Daimler only in relation to supplies of G/GN/GL2-latches and strikers through the joint purchasing initiative ‘Industriebaukasten’ (‘IBK’) between Daimler and BMW (‘IBK sales’).

2.2.1.   Infringement MAGNA - BROSE

(14)

The objective of the first infringement was to preserve each party’s existing door modules and window regulators business with Daimler, to avoid a price war leading to the deterioration of the prevailing pricing levels of the supplies of door modules and window regulators and to allocate new supplies of those products between the parties under the bid launched in July 2010. The infringement covered the EEA.

(15)

In the course of the tender procedure, BROSE decided to disregard the alignment on prices and the award split and instead to bid to win the entire award. However, it kept pretending towards MAGNA that it still complied with the alignment on prices and on the award split as agreed with MAGNA. BROSE won the entire award.

2.2.2.   Infringement MAGNA - KIEKERT

(16)

The objective of the second infringement was to protect and preserve each party’s existing latches and strikers business with BMW and to avoid a price war leading to the deterioration of the prevailing pricing levels of these supplies. In this context, the parties pursued the objective of allocating the supply of latches and strikers for passenger cars to BMW and to Daimler for IBK sales. The infringement covered the EEA.

2.2.3.   Duration

(17)

The duration of the participation of each party in the infringements was as follows:

Infringement

Undertaking

Start

End

I

MAGNA

12.8.2010

21.2.2011

BROSE

12.8.2010

21.2.2011

II

MAGNA

15.9.2009

7.5.2012

KIEKERT

15.9.2009

7.5.2012

2.3.   Addressees

2.3.1.   MAGNA

(18)

Liability for the first infringement is imputed jointly and severally to Magna Closures S.p.A., Magna Mirrors Holding GmbH and MAGNA International Europe GmbH (for their direct participation) and Magna International Inc. (in its capacity as parent of Magna Closures S.p.A., Magna Mirrors Holding GmbH and MAGNA International Europe GmbH) from 12 August 2010 to 21 February 2011.

(19)

Liability for the second infringement is imputed jointly and severally to Magna Closures S.p.A. and Magna Mirrors Holding GmbH (for their direct participation) and Magna International Inc. (in its capacity as parent company of Magna Closures S.p.A. and Magna Mirrors Holding GmbH) from 15 June 2009 to 7 May 2012.

2.3.2.   BROSE

(20)

Liability for the first infringement is imputed jointly and severally to Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Bamberg, Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Coburg and Brose Verwaltung SE, Coburg (for their direct participation) and Brose Beteiligungs-Kommanditgesellschaft, Coburg and Brose Beteiligungs-Kommanditgesellschaft II, Coburg (in their capacity as parent companies of Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Bamberg, Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Coburg, Brose Verwaltung SE, Coburg) from 12 August 2010 to 21 February 2011.

2.3.3.   KIEKERT

(21)

Liability for the second infringement is imputed to Kiekert AG, for its direct participation, from 15 June 2009 to 7 May 2012.

2.4.   Remedies

(22)

The Decision applies the 2006 Guidelines on Fines (7).

2.4.1.   Basic amount of the fine

(23)

In the first infringement, the value of sales was calculated on the basis of the sales of BR205 door modules and window regulators from the start of delivery period to 2019 (the last full business year preceding the adoption of the final decision). As Magna had no relevant sales, a fictional value of sales was calculated for it and set at 50 % of the value of sales of BROSE.

(24)

In the second infringement, the value of sales was calculated on the basis of the sales of strikers and latches supplied to BMW and Daimler (for Daimler in the context of the IBK project) in the EEA in the last full business year of the infringement (2011).

(25)

Considering the nature of the infringements and their geographic scope, the percentage for the variable amount of the fines as well as the additional amount (‘entry fee’) is set at 16 % of the value of sales for each infringement.

(26)

The variable amount is multiplied by the number of years or by fractions of the year respectively of the parties' individual participation in the infringements in order to take fully into account the actual duration of the participation for each party in the infringements individually. The duration multiplier is calculated on the basis of calendar days.

2.4.2.   Adjustments to the basic amount

(27)

There are no aggravating or mitigating circumstances in this case.

(28)

MAGNA had an annual worldwide turnover of approximately EUR 35,22 billion in 2019. A specific deterrence multiplier of 1,1 is applied to MAGNA to take into account its particularly large turnover.

2.4.3.   Application of the 10 % turnover limit

(29)

None of the fines calculated exceeds 10 % of the respective party’s worldwide turnover in 2019.

2.4.4.   Application of the 2006 Leniency Notice: reduction of fines

(30)

MAGNA was the first to submit information and evidence meeting the conditions of point 8(a) of the 2006 Leniency Notice in both infringements. MAGNA is thus granted immunity from fines for both infringements.

(31)

BROSE was the first undertaking to meet the requirements of points 24 and 25 of the 2006 Leniency Notice as regards the first infringement and was granted a reduction of 35 % of the fine.

(32)

KIEKERT was the first undertaking to meet the requirements of points 24 and 25 of the 2006 Leniency Notice as regards the second infringement and was granted a reduction of 40 % of the fine. Further, Kiekert was the first party to submit compelling evidence that enabled the Commission to extend the duration of the second alleged infringement back until 15 June 2009 and to establish its starting date. In accordance with point 26 of the 2006 Leniency Notice, the period from 15 June 2009 until 4 October 2010 is not taken into account when setting the fine for KIEKERT for the second infringement.

2.4.5.   Application of the Settlement Notice

(33)

As a result of the application of the Settlement Notice, the amount of the fines to be imposed on each party was reduced by 10 %. The reduction was added to their leniency reward.

3.   CONCLUSION

(34)

The following fines were imposed pursuant to Article 23(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003:

For the first infringement:

(a)

Magna International Inc., Magna Closures S.p.A., Magna Mirrors Holding GmbH and MAGNA International Europe GmbH, jointly and severally liable: EUR 0;

(b)

Brose Beteiligungs-Kommanditgesellschaft, Coburg, Brose Beteiligungs-Kommanditgesellschaft II, Coburg, Brose Verwaltung SE, Coburg, Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Bamberg and Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Coburg, jointly and severally liable: EUR 3 225 000.

For the second infringement

(a)

Magna International Inc., Magna Closures S.p.A. and Magna Mirrors Holding GmbH, jointly and severally liable: EUR 0;

(b)

Kiekert AG: EUR 14 971 000.


(1)  OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC) No 411/2004 (OJ L 68, 6.3.2004, p. 1).

(2)  Formerly, the legal entity was named Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Bamberg.

(3)  Formerly, the legal entity was named Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Coburg.

(4)  Formerly, the legal entity was named Brose Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Coburg.

(5)  OJ C 298, 8.12.2006, p. 17.

(6)  OJ L 123, 27.4.2004, p. 18.

(7)  OJ C 210, 1.9.2006, p. 2.


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