EU Commission seeks to re-impose big punitive fine on ENI, Versalis

01 March 2013 17:47  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Commission wants to re-impose a big punitive fine for repeated cartel infringement on Italy’s ENI and ENI’s chemical affiliate Versalis because of the firms' involvement in a synthetic rubber cartel, it said on Friday.

The Commission in 2006 originally imposed a €272.25m ($353.57m) fine on ENI and Versalis (formerly Polimeri Europa) for participating in the synthetic rubber cartel. The fine included a punitive €90.75m “uplift” for recidivism.

However, in 2011 the European General Court annulled the uplift, ruling that the Commission had not explained sufficiently its conclusion that one and the same undertaking had repeated an infringement.

The Commission said on Friday that it now provided full details on this issue to remedy the court's criticism.

The Commission said that in its “Statement of Objections” it shows that in previous cartel decisions on polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride the firms involved – Anic and Enichem - belonged to the same undertaking as ENI and Versalis.

In addition, the Commission provided details showing that Versalis is the economic successor of Enichem, which in turn is the economic successor of Anic, it said.

“As a result, the Commission reaches the preliminary conclusion that the fine imposed on ENI and Versalis for participating in the synthetic rubber cartel should include an uplift for the aggravating circumstance of recidivism,” it said.

“[ENI and Versalis] now have the opportunity to reply to the Commission's objections before any amending decision re-imposing the fine uplift is taken,” it added.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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