EIGHT companies in the Spanish hair and beauty industry have been fined €51 for price fixing over a 19 year period, the National Competition Commission (CNC) said in a statement.
The CNC discovered a cartel created in 1989 which ran until February 2008 which involved the principal companies in professional hairdressing industry in Spain – representing 70 per cent of the sector – as well as the Spanish Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association (STANPA).
The investigation was launched after one of the members, Henkel Iberica, blew the whistle on the cartel.
Henkel Iberica revealed the existence of the cartel following the launch of an amnesty programme where it offered immunity prosecution in exchange for reporting such illicit activities.
The cartel was confirmed by the CNC in June 2008, following inspections of the participating companies.
The companies fined are: world’s largest beauty products company, L’Oréal España (fined €23.2m); Productos Cosmeticos -Wella (€12m); Eugene Perma España (€2.3m); Cosmetica Cosbar (Montibello) (€2.6m); Cosmetica Tecnica (Lendan) (€1m); and DSP Haircare Products (€299,000); as well as Colomer Group Spain (€8.7m); Henkel Iberica (€9.9m) and STANPA (€900,000).
The members would meet every six month to agree strategies to combat competition and to fix prices, the CNC found.
Henkel Iberica will not have to pay the fine under the conditions of the amnesty.
By Brendan Small, Business Editor