Company News, 2012-07-05, 10:24 AM
Rail cartel: ThyssenKrupp settles proceedings
The Federal Cartel Office today imposed a fine of €103 million on Essen-based ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik GmbH in the so-called rail cartel case. Other ThyssenKrupp Group companies are not affected.
The Federal Cartel Office has been conducting investigation proceedings against several companies in the rail equipment sector for over a year. They concern allegations of anticompetitive agreements in sections of the rail business in Germany. Besides ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik, the authority today issued fine notices against other companies.
The Federal Cartel Office is therefore closing the part of the proceedings against ThyssenKrupp concerning the rail deliveries to Deutsche Bahn. The investigations are still ongoing in respect of two other product areas. ThyssenKrupp has made a provision of €30 million for this.
ThyssenKrupp accepts the fine and settles the proceedings after an intensive review and in light of the clear facts of the case. In calculating the fine the Federal Cartel Office took account of the fact that ThyssenKrupp Gleistechnik GmbH is part of the ThyssenKrupp Group. Under prevailing practice this results in a comparatively high fine.
ThyssenKrupp was taken completely by surprise by the antitrust and criminal investigations in mid-May 2011 and since then has cooperated fully with the authorities. From the outset the company has assisted strongly in clearing up the matter with its own legal experts and extensive external support. In addition, the Federal Cartel Office explicitly acknowledged the Group’s own compliance work.
In particular the company’s full cooperation with the investigating authorities and transparency towards customers were taken into account as extenuating factors in ThyssenKrupp’s favor in the calculation of the fine.
Firm action in the spirit of zero tolerance
Back in mid-2011 the Group acted firmly in the spirit of zero tolerance and took personnel action. In the course of internal investigations the suspicions against individual employees of ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik were confirmed. Several sales managers, a managing director and the responsible business area CEO had to leave the company.
The eleven employees concerned had been intensely trained under the ThyssenKrupp Compliance Program and were required to comply with the law and internal company policies. ThyssenKrupp is pursuing compensation claims against these persons. The Bochum public prosecutor’s office is also continuing its investigations against the persons involved in the cartel.
In addition, the Group informed its customers about the events at an early stage and is in discussions in particular with Deutsche Bahn AG.