First Cartel Settlement in the EU: Reduced Fines in Exchange for Admission of Liability

June 02, 2010
The European Commission adopted its first settlement decision since the inception of the new cartel settlement procedure was introduced in 2008. The new procedure is suitable for companies willing to admit liability in exchange for an expeditious procedure and a 10% reduction in cartel fines. The DRAM cartel investigation involved ten producers of memory chips and resulted in total fines of over €331 million (approximately US$410 million). Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia hailed the settlement as “another milestone in the Commission’s anti-cartel enforcement.” This update examines the settlement and its implications.