Rombat to issue initial response to EU ‘price-fixing’ probe

Rombat to issue initial response to EU ‘price-fixing’ probe

Rombat to issue initial response to EU ‘price-fixing’ probe 640 480 Batteries International

March 13, 2024: Rombat is set to make a formal statement next month in response to a European Commission probe into allegations it may have been involved in price-fixing among major lead battery manufacturers.

Batteries International revealed last December that EU competition chiefs had accused Rombat, Clarios, Exide Technologies, Banner, Fiamm Energy Technology and its predecessor Elettra of possible collusion to fix starter battery prices, aided by trade association EUROBAT.

Rombat’s owner, Metair Investments, said on March 11 the firm is conducting an in-depth analysis of the allegations and will issue an initial response in April.

The Commission’s probe is focused on the period between 2004 up to 2017. It is alleged the firms published and agreed to use new indices in their price negotiations with car producers, the aim of which was — allegedly — to fix an important element of the final battery prices.

EUROBAT told Batteries International on December 8 it would fight the claims.

The Clarios director of external global communication and communications for the EMEA region, Christian Riedel, said: “We do not comment on pending investigations and legal proceedings, but we don’t believe we have any material exposure. We are cooperating with authorities in their investigation.”

A spokesperson for the Commission told Batteries International on December 11 they could not comment on the origins of the probe, including whether the investigation had been triggered by an industry whistleblower or any kind of complaint.

The spokesperson also refused to rule out an expansion of the investigation to include other automotive battery companies.