4. VITAMIN CARTEL CASE
4.1 EU INVESTIGATION FINDINGS
According to the World Trade Organization (WTO) (2001), in 1989 two European vitamins manufacturers Roche and BASF started the cartels. They decided to increase the prices of vitamins A and E gradually to a geographic division to the world’s markets. Roche and BASF skillfully garnered over seventy percent of sales in these markets and later successfully co-opted their principal rivals, Rhone-Poulenc and Eisai. Through 1991, these four companies basically controlled the world price for vitamins A and E; a situation they were able to endure until 1999. As illustrated by Table 1, the collaborators’ achievement encouraged them to further the scope of the cartel to include other vitamins…show more content… Due to the level of involvement of the Swiss firm Hoffman La-Roche being present in all 12 cartels, the Commission found the firm as one of the prime instigators of these cartels; and thus received the heaviest fine totaling €462 million. Table 2 illustrated the fines issued by the Commission.
According to the OECD (2002) there may be a far larger had not the conspirators aided the EU's investigation as a result they received a reduction in their fines of 50 per cent. As they face financial penalties in the EU, the global vitamin cartel has been prosecuted in countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia. In the case of two Hoffman La-Roche executives, while paying fines of up to US $1million they have also received prison sentences for their participation in the cartel's activities (OECD, 2002)…show more content… Providing a great number of jobs and development while creating opportunities for individuals within the markets. As such progress are being made some co-operations seek to take advantage of such a markets by creating cartels and other anti- competitive practices which are detrimental to the welfare of customers. Therefore it is the EU Commission’s objective to enforce policies maintain their objectives of an open and competitive marketplace. To do this specific legislations, fines, prosecution and deterrents are needed to ensure and fair and open market. In the case of the vitamin cartels after decades of anti-completion practices the subsequent conclusion of the case was bring a balance back to an industry manipulated by only a