Nexans, French expert in the cable industry, has been fined by the European Commission with $97 million, of which $90 million is subject to joint payment liability of Nexans as parent company, for alleged anti-competitive behavior.
The Commission imposed a fine on the major European and Asian industry actors.
The Commission investigation commenced in 2009 and the period covered by the decision against Nexans France dates from November 2000 to January 2009. The cables concerned by the decision were narrowed from the initial investigation, following Nexans’ submissions on scope, to underground cables at voltages of 110 kV and above, and submarine cables at voltages of 33kv and above. Nexans France recorded a 200 million euro provision in its statutory financial statements, included in the Group’s consolidated financial statements, since June 30, 2011. Since payment must be made within 3 months even if an appeal is filed, the Group’s net debt will be impacted in 2014.
Nexans will review the voluminous decision in detail to determine its next course of action which could include appeal. The Group will evaluate the consequences of the decision for possible follow on claims as well as the impact of this decision and other recent developments in the other ongoing competition authority investigations in the same cable sector in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Korea, which consequences as previously reported could have a material adverse effect on the results of Nexans and its financial situation. The Group will communicate further at the time of its first semester results.
“The Commission regrettably did not take into account the lack of effect on customers, which it is not required to find in order to apply sanctions,” said Nexans CEO Frédéric Vincent and Nexans COO Arnaud Poupart-Lafarge, in a joint statement. “We confirm our requirement of strict adherence to our ethical values as set out in Nexans Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and Antitrust Guidelines which are very clear. The Group is fully committed to compliance with competition laws and operates a strong dedicated competition compliance program across its subsidiaries worldwide, which we reinforced in 2009 to ensure that our business activities are conducted in compliance with the highest ethical and legal standards.”
Press Release, April 03, 2014