Why it pays to come clean - the companies holding their hands up to competition breaches
In April of this year, the European Commission (EC) fined Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Henkel a total of €315.2m (£275m) for fixing the prices of laundry detergents in Europe. Procter & Gamble was fined €211.2m (£184m) and Unilever received a fine of €104m (£91m), while Henkel escaped penalty because it acted as the whistle-blower on the cartel. The case is an example of how perfectly legitimate, and even desirable, co-operation between competitors can go horribly wrong. In the late 1990s, the trade association representing the manufacturers of detergents in Europe launched an environmental initiative to promote sustainable consumption of laundry detergents by recommending manufacturers to reduce dosage and weight of their detergents as well as package sizes.
Sullivan & Cromwell’s Juan Rodriguez and Axel Beckmerhagen set out the considerations for companies opting to hold their hands up to competition breaches
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