24 March 2009 12:41 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Arkema is the latest company to receive a charge sheet from the European Commission over allegations of price fixing in the heat stabilisers segment, the French specialty chemicals company said on Tuesday.
The action represents the start of legal proceedings which could lead to possible fines for operating a pricing cartel in violation of EU competition rules.
German producer BASF said it was not involved in the investigation, while a number of other companies involved in the heat stabiliser sector were not immediately available for comment.
The investigation concerns two categories of heat stabilisers, tin stabilisers and epoxidised soybean oil/esters, which are used during the manufacture polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products.
Arkema said that the case would have no impact on the company due to a warranty agreement it made with Total during its spin-off from the French energy major in 2006.
AkzoNobel said the investigation related to activities before 2001, adding that it was analysing the case and would prepare its defence over the next two or three months.
AkzoNobel and Ciba no longer operate in the heat stabilisers field. AkzoNobel sold its heat additives business to GIL Investments in 2007, while Ciba sold its counterpart in 1997, the companies said.
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