EU set to charge capacitor makers with cartel offense

21 October 2015. By Lewis Crofts and Matthew Newman.

The European Commission is poised to send formal cartel charges to manufacturers of electrical components used to store energy, MLex has learned.

Antitrust agencies in the US, Asia and Europe have been scrutinizing the capacitor industry for almost two years, targeting companies including Matsuo Electric, NEC Tokin, Nippon Chemi-Con, Panasonic and Rubycon.

Raids were conducted in Japan and Korea last year, and antitrust enforcers in the EU and US have been demanding information from manufacturers. Investigators are understood to be making inquiries about supercapacitors, aluminum electrolytic capacitors, and capacitors using plastic film and tantalum.

Now, the European Commission is said to be ready to move its investigation forward in the coming days by sending out formal charges, known as a Statement of Objections.

Such charge sheets lay out the EU’s findings, accusing the companies of cartel conduct and indicating what evidence has been gathered against them.

Recipients also have a chance to rebut the charges in writing and at a closed-door oral hearing in Brussels.

Capacitors come in various forms and are used in products ranging from mobile devices to commercial vehicles.

	Eliot Gao

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