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Joiner cartel: AFCA files another application with Cartel Court

In the course of its investigations into the joinery/cabinetmaking industry, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) filed an application with the Cartel Court on 28 March 2022 for a finding of an infringement pursuant to § 1 para. 1 of the Austrian Cartel Act (KartG) against the Lower Austrian company Fürst Möbel GmbH and its parent company (together referred to as “Fürst”).

Fürst applied for leniency and has since cooperated fully with the AFCA. Fürst was also first to submit information and evidence that enabled the AFCA to expand its investigations (cf. § 11b para. 1 no. 3 lit a of the Competition Act – WettbG). The AFCA therefore refrained from imposing a fine on the company, only applying for a finding that it had participated in the cartel.

Fürst was a member of the cartel between 2002 and 2019, and participated in cartel agreements in relation to more than 100 projects. The agreements related primarily to large-scale tenders in various sectors (e.g. healthcare).

The AFCA filed an application for a (reduced) fine to be imposed on Norer Tischlereigesellschaft m.b.H., which is also in the leniency programme, on 16 February 2022 (see AFCA’s press release of 21 February 2022).

The AFCA will file further applications for fines to be imposed on the other companies involved in the cartel in the near future.