Spanish anti-trust authorities have levied $67 million in fines for price fixing involving beauty parlour products sold by local units of companies such as L'Oreal and Procter & Gamble.
The National Competition Commission says eight companies formed a cartel as far back as 1989, called it the G8 and have been meeting twice a year to co-ordinate pricing and other strategies.
The panel said in a statement Thursday that Henkel Iberica, a company that was part of the cartel, informed on the others and under a law passed in 2008 is exempt from punishment.
The Spanish unit of French cosmetics giant L'Oreal was slapped with the equivalent of a $31-million fine, the highest in the group.
It issued a statement denying it engaged in price-fixing, saying its meeting with other companies in the sector were strictly for the purpose of comparing statistical information and that it will appeal the government commission's ruling.
A call Friday seeking comment from Productos Cosmetics S.L.U., whose parent company is Procter & Gamble, was not immediately returned.
The commission named the other companies it is fining as:
- The Colomer Group Spain.
- Eugene Perma Espana.
- Cosmetica Cosbar (Montibello).
- Cosmetica Tecnica (Lendan).
- DSP Haircare Products.
The panel also fined an industry group called the National Association of Perfume and Cosmetics, calling it part of the cartel.