Cleanroom laundry services and products: anti-competitive arrangement(s)

The CMA has issued a decision imposing fines on suppliers of cleanroom laundry services and products for infringing Chapter I of CA98.

Case reference: 50283

Case timetable

Date Action
8 February 2018 Non-confidential infringement decision published
14 December 2017 Infringement decision issued
May to December 2017 Considering written and oral representations on the statement of objections, further evidence gathering and analysis, draft penalty statements issued, considering written and oral representations on the draft penalty statements, letter of facts issued, consideration of representations on letter of facts, decision on case outcome, preparation of infringement decision.
March to May 2017 Receipt of any written and oral representations on the statement of objections
20 January 2017 Statement of objections issued
September 2016 to January 2017 Further investigation, including further information requests; CMA analysis and review of parties’ responses to further information requests; state of play meetings/calls with parties under investigation. Decision taken to issue statement of objections.
September 2016 Decision to proceed with the investigation
March to September 2016 Initial investigation: information gathering, including issuance of formal and informal information requests and parties’ responses; CMA analysis and review of parties’ responses to information requests; state of play meetings with parties under investigation. Decision taken to proceed with the investigation
30 March 2016 Investigation opened

Non-confidential infringement decision

8 February 2018: The CMA has published a non-confidential version of the decision in this case, in which 2 suppliers of ‘cleanroom’ laundry services were fined a total of £1.71 million for breaking competition law.

Infringement decision

14 December 2017: The CMA has fined 2 suppliers of ‘cleanroom’ laundry services for breaking competition law by agreeing not to compete for each other’s allocated territories and customers.

It follows enforcement action by the CMA against the companies today known as Micronclean Limited and Berendsen Cleanroom Services Limited. Both businesses had been trading under the ‘Micronclean’ brand since the 1980s in a longstanding joint venture agreement. The case concerned the period between May 2012 (when the companies entered into new, reciprocal trademark licence arrangements) and February 2016 (when the trademark licences were terminated, and the related joint venture was disbanded).

The CMA imposed a financial penalty of £510,118 of Fenland, and of £1,197,956 on Berendsen Newbury. As the parent company of Berendsen Newbury for the latter part of the relevant period, Berendsen plc is jointly and severally liable for £1,028,671 of Berendsen Newbury’s fine.

Statement of objections

20 January 2017: The CMA has alleged that 2 suppliers of cleanroom laundry services and products – Micronclean Limited (formerly known as Fenland Laundries Limited) and Berendsen Cleanroom Services Limited (formerly known as Micronclean (Newbury) Limited) – have broken competition law through a market-sharing agreement while each providing services and/or products under the ‘Micronclean’ brand.

Notes

Contacts

Assistant project director

Simon Deeble (0203 738 6668, simon.deeble@cma.gsi.gov.uk)

Project director

Simon Nichols (0203 738 6368, simon.nichols@cma.gsi.gov.uk)

Senior responsible officer

Ann Pope (0203 738 6786, ann.pope@cma.gsi.gov.uk)

Published 30 March 2016
Last updated 8 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Non-confidential infringement decision published.
  2. Infringement decision issued.
  3. Statement of objections issued and timetable updated.
  4. Timetable updated.
  5. Timetable updated.
  6. First published.