14 March 2006 19:01 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--Solvay and Akzo Nobel have agreed to plead guilty to price fixing in the hydrogen peroxide and sodium perborates markets and will pay a combined $72m (Euro60m) in criminal penalties, US officials said on Tuesday.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) said the two cases are the first to result from the department’s ongoing antitrust investigation into the hydrogen peroxide and sodium perborates industries.
DoJ said the two companies also have agreed to co-operate with federal investigators in their continuing probe of the hydrogen peroxide and perborates markets.
Belgian company Solvay is to pay nearly $41m for participating in international conspiracies to fix prices in both markets, DoJ said.
Dutch firm Akzo Nobel Chemicals International will pay $32m in criminal fines for its role in an international conspiracy to fix prices in the hydrogen peroxide market, DoJ said.
The price-fixing activities, said DoJ, affected nearly $350m in ?xml:namespace>
Both companies, said DoJ, held meetings to discuss prices for products to be sold in the US and elsewhere, agreed to fix prices for hydrogen peroxide in the US and elsewhere and implemented those agreements by issuing price announcements and price quotes in accordance with the price-fixing deals.
DoJ assistant attorney general Scott Hammond said the two companies “will provide valuable assistance in our continued investigations of the hydrogen peroxide and sodium perborates industries.” Had the two companies not settled with DoJ and agreed to co-operate, said the department, their executives could have faced criminal charges and jail sentences.
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