EU court appeal on cartel fine lost by graphite firms

French graphite firm Carbone Lorraine and German electrodes maker SGL Carbon will be obliged to pay an EU antitrust fine after Europe“s top court rejected an appeal against the penalty in mid-Novembe…

French graphite firm Carbone Lorraine and German electrodes maker SGL Carbon will be obliged to pay an EU antitrust fine after Europe“s top court rejected an appeal against the penalty in mid-November 2009. The European Commission, competition watchdog of the 27-nation European Union, had fined Carbone Lorraine EUR 43.1 million (USD 64.6 million) and SGL EUR 23.6 million in 2003 for taking part in a cartel regarding carbon and graphite products – used mainly to transfer electricity to and in electric motors in shavers, car windows and vacuum cleaners – in the 1998-99 period. “The Court of Justice confirms on appeal the Commission“s decision relating to the electrical and mechanical carbon and graphite products cartel,” the court said in a statement, dismissing appeals brought by the two firms. The lower Court of First Instance had backed the fine in October 2008. Carbone Lorraine and SGL had subsequently appealed to the European Court of Justice.