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South Korea Fines Aluminum Cartel

 |  December 8, 2021

South Korea’s antitrust regulator said Wednesday it has decided to impose a combined 20.7 billion won ($17.6 million) in fines on eight makers of aluminum alloy products for colluding to fix bidding prices.

Altechno Metal and seven other firms colluded to fix their quotations between 2011 and 2021 for bids on aluminum alloy products by the country’s largest carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Corp., according to the Fair Trade Commission (KFTC).

Prior to the bidding, the companies colluded to divide the total volume of orders by Hyundai Motor into similar amounts and fix the bidding prices in accordance with pre-set amounts.

The practice helped them win certain amounts of orders without fail every year since 2011 at relatively high bidding prices, the regulator said.

Along with the fine, the KFTC also ordered them to take corrective steps.

The regulator added it discussed with Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp. ways to improve their bidding system and the two carmakers will implement an enhanced bidding system next year to prevent bidders from making price collusion

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