Cosmetic-makers flout anti-cartel rules: Swiss regulator

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Cosmetics and perfume-makers have flouted Swiss anti-cartel rules and should be fined up to CHF 25.5 million (EUR 17.9 million, USD 22.2 million) for price fixing, regulators said on Friday.

The investigative arm of Switzerland's Competition Commission (COMCO) said it had carried out a probe of companies in the Association of Manufacturers, Importers and Distributors of Cosmetic Products and Perfumes, including Parfums Christian Dior AG, Chanel Geneve SA and L'Oreal Produits de Luxe Suisse SA, and that it found evidence of price fixing.

"The indications became clearer during the course of the investigation that the concerned companies were able to harmonise their prices and cement their part of the market thanks to an information exchange," the COMCO secretariat said.

"The secretariat qualifies the behaviour of these companies as an illicit accord on prices and quantities," it added.

The secretariat recommended that COMCO impose fines between CHF 17,000 and 25.5 million, with the level calculated according to the sales generated by each company and the severity of the offence.

COMCO is expected to make a final decision following hearings.

© 2010 AFP

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