Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever was fined 104 million euros on Wednesday for fixing the price of washing powder in eight EU countries. US-based Procter & Gamble Co will pay 211.2 million euros in EU fines.
Germany's Henkel, which alerted the European Commission to the cartel in laundry detergent, was not fined.
The P&G/Unilever cartel operated in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands between 2002 to 2005, the EU regulator said.
It added that, as part of the Commission's settlement, the fines had been cut by 10 percent in return for the firms' admissions that they participated in the cartel.
This is the third EU settlement following similar cases in the memory chip and animal feed sectors last year.
The EU watchdog raided the three consumer goods companies in June 2008 on suspicion of price fixing. It also sought information from US-based Sara Lee. It has imposed close to 12 billion euros in fines on cartels between 2005 and 2010.
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