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German Cartel Office Fines Cosmetic Firms

August 6, 2008

GERMANY: Germany’s Federal Cartel Office has fined nine cosmetics companies, including some of the biggest in the industry, approximately $15 million for sharing strategic information. The companies—which include Chanel, Clarins, Cosmopolitan Cosmetics Prestige (P&G Prestige Products), Coty Prestige Lancaster, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, LVMH Parfums & Kosmetik, Shiseido and YSL Beauté—were found to have systematically exchanged information since at least 1995 on products, prices, results and advertising campaigns. According to published reports, individual fines ranging from €250,000 to €2.1 million are to be imposed on the German units of the companies as well as 13 present or former managers of these companies.

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