The European Commission has imposed fines totalling €1.4bn on car glass manufacturers Asahi, Pilkington, Saint-Gobain, and Soliver for illegal market sharing and exchange of commercially sensitive information.
Asahi, Pilkington and Saint-Gobain are the three major players in Europe. Between early 1998 and early 2003, the companies discussed target prices, market sharing, and customer allocation in a series of meetings and other illicit contacts, which is against the commission’s ban on cartels and restrictive business practices. The Belgian company Soliver also took part in some of the discussions.
The four companies controlled about 90% of the auto glass used in Europe in new cars and for original branded replacement glass for cars at that time, a market worth about €2bn in the last full year of the infringement.
The commission started the cartel investigation on its own initiative following an anonymous tip.