THE EUROPEAN Commission has fined eight companies a total of Euro 855.22 million for participating in secret market-sharing and price-fixing cartels affecting the production of vitamins including those sold to the cosmetics industry. There were eight cartels, said the Commission, operating between 1989 and 1999. Because Swiss-based company Hoffman-La Roche was an instigator and participated in each cartel it was fined Euro 462 million. EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said that the cartels enabled the producers to inflate prices. ...

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