Danish refrigeration compressor manufacturer, Danfoss, has reached a settlement with the American Department of Justice in a case concerning illegal price fixing in the American market.
The settlement cost the Danish company who manufacture fridge and freezer compressors and thermoststs a fine of about DKK 16.5 million, £1.9 million.
Danfoss admits that the group’s German subsidiary, Danfoss Flensburg GmbH in the period from October 2004 to September 2007 made illegal price agreements with competitors in the American market for light commercial compressors. According to the American authorities, Danfosswas price fixing in the American market in a price cartel with Panasonic, Whirlpool, Tecumseh, and ACC.
Last year Panasonic and Whirlpool were fined over DKK 700 million, $126 million but, the American illegal price fixing is only part of a giant cartel case against Danfoss.
The group continues to be the subject of investigation by among others the European competition authorities for violation of the European competition rules, just like civil lawsuits against the Danfoss group are still pending in USA and Canada.
Danfoss has therefore set aside DKK 720 million in its half-year financial statement as it expects to be fined by the EU Commission for the price fixings.
Danfoss CEO Niels B. Christiansen admitted in September that the pending cases are embarrassing for the family owned business. “It is extremely frustrating and painful that a business like ours experiences this. It is against our principles,“ he told Børsen.
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