Anti-cartel authorities in Germany have fines ten insurance providers a total of E130 million for collusion aimed at rising prices and eliminating open market competition.

The ten insurers, which include a number of big names from the industry, including Allianz, Munich Re and Axa, were handed the financial punishment by the German Federal Cartel Office after it determined that the companies were engaged in anti-competitive dealings.

According to the Cartel Office boss, Ulf Boege, and reported by Bloomberg, insurers agreed not to make counter-offers for business from clients in industrial insurance, transport and building coverage in a period stretching from 19999 to 2002.

The executives of those companies in question have consciously violated the cartel law in order to bring to an end the intensive competition among insurers,” Bloomberg reported Boege said.

The Cartel Office chief added that individual company executives may also be fined and that eight other companies were being investigated in relation to the matter. The breakdown of proportionality of the E130 million penalty by individual company was not disclosed, however.