13 October 2009
Embraco pays $56.5m to settle cartel allegations in Brazil
EMBRACO has agreed to pay 56.5m USD to settle its compressor cartel allegations in Brazil.
Embraco's settlement with the Brazilian Justice Ministry's anti-trust division (CADE) means it will pay the fee (100m Brazilian reals) over the next five and a half years (reported in the Brazilian press to amount to 20-25% of Embraco sales).
Anti-trust authorities raided a number of refrigeration compressor manufacturers' offices across Europe, the US and Brazil in February 2009. In the operation codenamed zero degrees, 60 federal agents in Sao Paulo searched Whirlpool offices and seized computer equipment. Unannounced raids were also carried out at the offices of Whirlpool and Tecumseh in Brazil and the US, and Danfoss facilities in Denmark, Germany and the US.
Speaking in Brazil on October 8, European commissioner for competition Neelie Kroes said: 'We in Brussels have been very pleased with the first joint dawn raid among Brazilian, EU and US authorities in February 2009. The ongoing investigation in the refrigeration compressor industry is an excellent case study. My people in Brussels coordinated the inspections in this industry, together with colleagues of the SDE, and following the appropriate internal coordination in Brazil between CADE and the SDE. We both worked also with the US Department of Justice'.
Commissioner Kroes added: 'I don't want to merely destabilise cartels. I want to tear the ground from under them'.