Dow, DuPont lose appeal in EU chloropene price-fixing case

26 September 2013 17:46  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds DuPont comments, paragraph 11)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dow Chemical and DuPont lost on Thursday an appeal in an EU Court in which the US-based companies sought to set aside a judgement and overturn a fine regarding an earlier decision that found them liable for fixing prices on chloropene rubber.

The two companies were among those that the European Commission accused of fixing chloropene prices from 1993-2002, according to court documents.

During that time, Dow and DuPont created in 1996 a joint venture called DuPont Dow Elastomers. DuPont acquired Dow's stake in 2005.

In December 2007, the Commission found that Dow and DuPont, among others, had fixed prices for chloropene. The Commission ultimately found Dow liable for a fine of €4.43m ($5.99m). DuPont and Dow were found jointly liable for a fine of €44.25m.

The two companies then took the case to the EU General Court. Dow sought to reduce the fine, while DuPont sought to annul the decision.

In February 2012, the EU General Court dismissed the companies' requests.

In their appeal, Dow and DuPont alleged that the Commission failed to prove that they had exercised decisive influence in the joint venture accused of price fixing. They also alleged that the fine was not properly imposed.

The EU Court of Justice rejected the companies' arguments and kept the fine.

In a statement, Dow said it did not agree with the finding that it was jointly liable for the actions of the joint venture.

Dow said that it expects no financial effect from the ruling because it had reached an agreement earlier with DuPont regarding the payment of the fine.

DuPont said it was disappointed in the decision.  

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Al Greenwood
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