EU General Court confirms fines for rubber cartel companies

13 July 2011 13:35  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The General Court of the EU has confirmed European Commission fines of €160.9m ($226.6m) and €64.6m will be imposed on Shell group companies in the Netherlands and US-based Dow Chemical, respectively, for participation in a synthetic rubber cartel, the court said on Wednesday.

However, a fine jointly imposed on Italy's Eni and subsidiary rubber producer Polimeri Europa was reduced to €181.5m from €272.3m, the court, the EU's second-highest, added.

Additionally, a fine of €17.6m levied against the Czech Republic's Unipetrol, a subsidiary of Poland's PKN Orlen, and a fine of €3.8m against Poland's Trade-Stomil were annulled, after it was found there was not sufficient evidence to show the companies were part of the cartel, the court added.

The fines were announced by the Commission in November 2006, after an anti-trust investigation of the styrene butadiene and emulsion styrene butadiene markets.

Levied against the five companies, the fines were for price-fixing and sharing customers for synthetic rubber supplies used to make tyres, footwear soles and golf balls between 1996 and 2002.

Germany's Bayer alerted the Comission to the cartel, and was thus not fined.

($1 = €0.71)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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