Capacitors cartel

Capacitors cartel

By decision of 21st of March 2018 the European Commission imposed fines of approx. € 254 million on 8 Japanese manufacturers of aluminum and tantalum electrolytic capacitors. The Commission’s investigations were initiated by Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. and its parent Panasonic Corporation. According to the European Commission’s findings, in the period 1998 to 2012 the companies in question exchanged sensitive business information in the context of multilateral meetings and bilateral or trilateral contacts on future prices and pricing intentions, and on future supply and demand information, and in some instances, agreed on prices. The meetings and contacts took place mainly in Japan, but the cartel conduct was implemented on a global scale, including in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Nippon Chemi-Con Corporation, Rubycon and Rubycon Holdings, Nichicon Corporation and NEC Corporation lost their appeals against the European Commission’s decision. The appeals by Nippon Chemi-Con Corporation and Nichicon Corporation against the European General Court judgements were dismissed by the European Court of Justice (C-759/21 P – Nippon Chemi-Con Corporation/ Commission and C-757/21 P – Nichicon Corporation/ Commission). The appeal case C-786/21 P – Nec v Commission was removed from the register.

Cartel subject: aluminum and tantalum electrolytic capacitors (electrical components that store energy electrostatically in an electric field, and are used in a wide variety of electric and electronic products)

Cartel members: Elna, Hitachi Chemical, Holy Stone, Matsuo, NEC, Tokin, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con und Rubycon

Cartel period: 26.06.1998 – 23.04.2012

Cartel region: worldwide, including EEA

Level of fines: approx. € 254 million

Affected parties: producars of any electronic products containing capacitors, ranging from smart phones to appliances in homes, electronic systems in cars and wind turbines producing electricity

CompanyReduction under the Leniency NoticeFine (€)
SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
and Panasonic Corporation
Hitachi Chemical Electronicals Co.,
Ltd. und Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd.
Rubycon Corporation and
Rubycon Holdings Co., Ltd.
ELNA Co., Ltd.0,1518.162.000
TOKIN Corporation and
NEC Corporation
Matsuo Electric Co., Ltd.824.000
Nichicon Corporation72.901.000
NIPPON CHEMI-CON Corporation97.921.000
Vishay Polytech Co., Ltd.,
Holy Stone Holdings Co., Ltd.,
and Holy Stone Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Participating ECDA member law firms

Contact information:

ECDA coordinator: Dr. Anna Lesinska-Adamson
Phone +49(0)30 611 28 40-10

Postal address:
European Cartel Damage Alliance e.V. (ECDA)
Magazinstraße 15-16
10179 Berlin / Germany