Unilever fined 104m euros for price fixing

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Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever was fined 104 million euros on Wednesday for fixing washing powder prices in eight EU countries. US-based Procter & Gamble Co. has to pay 211.2 million euros in EU fines.

Germany's Henkel, which alerted the European Commission to the cartel in laundry detergent, was not fined.   The P&G/Unilever cartel operated Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands between 2002 to 2005, the EU regulator said.   It added that, as part of the Commission's settlement procedure, the fines had been cut by 10 percent in return for the firms' admissions that they participated in the cartel.   This is the third EU decision using the settlement procedure following similar cases in the chipmaking and animal feed sectors last year.   The EU watchdog raided the three consumer goods companies in June 2008 on suspicion of price fixing, and also sought information from US-based household products firm Sara Lee. It has imposed fines close to 12 billion euros on cartels in the five years to 2010.   tt   

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