German Watchdog Fines Beauty Firms over Information Sharing

15 July 2008

BONN: Several major cosmetics giants have been fined to the tune of nearly €10 million ($15.8m; £7.9m) by Germany's Federal Cartel Office for allegedly sharing information about advertising campaigns, products, pricing and results.

The antitrust watchdog has fined the German units of Chanel, Clarins, Cosmopolitan Cosmetics Prestige (now P&G Prestige Products), Coty Prestige Lancaster, Estée Lauder, L'Oréal, LVMH Parfums & Kosmetik, Shiseido and YSL Beauté.

It is alleged that executives from these companies  met up four times a year to talk marketing tactics.

A Cartel Office statement said: "This exchange of information creates the danger of coordination of market behaviour among cosmetics makers," adding that such coordination breaches both German and European antitrust law.

The firms can appeal the decision.

Data sourced from deutsche; additional content by WARC staff