Car battery recycling cartel

Car battery recycling cartel

By decision of 8th February 2017 (corrected on 6th April 2017) the European Commission imposed a total fine of approx. € 68 million against three groups of recycling companies Campine (Belgium), Eco-Bat Technologies (UK) and Recyclex (France) for seting prices when buying used car batteries. A fourth company, Johnson Controls (US), was not fined because it notifyed the Commission about the existence of the cartel.

Unlike most price fixing cartels, where the companies involved agree to increase their selling prices, the four groups of companies have agreed to lower the purchase prices to be paid to the scrap dealers and collectors. Affected by this cartel were scrap dealers and collectors who collect and resell used car batteries.

Eco-Bat’s action for annulment was rejected as inadmissible on 21st oMarch 2018 by the European General Court (T-361/17). The European Court of Justice confirmed this decision on 21st March 2019 (C 312/18 P).

Action by Recylex SA to reduce the fine was dismissed by the European Court of Justice on 23rd May 2019 (T-222/17). The appeal is currently pending before the European Court of Justice (C-563/19 P).

The European General Court partially upheld Campine’s action for annulment on 7 November 2019; Campine has not sought legal remedy against this decision.

Cartel subject: used lead batteries

Cartel members: Campine, Eco-Bat Technologies, Recyclex, Johnson Controls Inc.

Cartel period: 23.09.2009 – 26.09.2012

Cartel region: Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands

Affected parties: operators of collection points such as garages, maintenance and repair workshops, battery distributors, scrapyards and other waste disposal sites

CompanyReduction under the Leniency NoticeFine (€)
Johnson Controls1,000
Eco-Bat0,532.712.000
Recylex
0,326.739.000
Campine08.158.000
Total67.609.000

Participating ECDA member law firms

Contact information:

ECDA coordinator: Johannes Vollmer
Phone +32 2 204 44-13
info@ecda-online.com

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