EU fines steel producers for cartel

Brussels - BRUSSELS (AP) - European Union regulators have fined steel producer ArcelorMittal euro276 million for secret deals to fix steel prices for nearly two decades with 16 other steel makers.

The European Commission says it fined all of the companies a total of euro518 million, bringing to euro1.49 billion the amount of fines it has levied this year on businesses who formed cartels.

It accuses the steel producers of holding more than 550 meetings from 1984 to 2002 to fix prices and allocate customers for prestressing steel, long curled steel wires used by builders to make foundations, balconies or bridges.

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, received the largest fine. DWK/Saarstahl escaped a fine because it blew the whistle on the cartel.

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