European Car-Battery Industry Players Accused of Price Fixing

by Warren Seah

The European Commission has recently accused seven prominent players in the European car-battery industry of colluding with each other in an effort to increase prices. In a statement released on Thursday, the commission named battery makers Banner, Clarios, Exide, Rombat, and FET as well as trade association Eurobat and its service provider, Kellen.

According to the commission, these battery manufacturers allegedly developed new price negotiation indices between 2004 and 2017 specifically to manipulate the final battery prices. Eurobat and Kellen were accused of supporting and participating in this plan.

The EU body’s commissioner in charge of competition policy, Didier Reynders, stressed the importance of independent pricing for healthy competition. He expressed concern that limited price competition among battery suppliers would ultimately harm car producers and European consumers.

Maria Teresa Scardigli, the Brussels managing director of Kellen, acknowledged receiving a press release from the commission but stated that they have not yet received the official statement of objections and therefore cannot comment.

Similarly, a spokesperson for Eurobat stated that they have neither received nor studied the official statement and thus were unable to provide any comment.

The European Commission has reportedly sent the statement of objection to all parties involved. However, representatives from Exide, Banner, Rombat, and FET have not responded to requests for comment at this time.

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