By Patrick Raleigh ERJ On-line news editor
Middlebury, Connecticut- Crompton Corp. is assisting competition authorities in Europe and North America with an investigation into price fixing among nitrile rubber suppliers, the company has revealed.
Authorities in the US, Canada and the European Union have granted Crompton an amnesty from criminal prosecutions and fines with regard to its activities in the nitrile rubber sector, the company said 19 Dec.
Crompton's announcement indicates that it was first to inform the authorities about the alleged cartel, as it did in December 2002 with regard to EPDM. The company also owned up to involvement in a suspected rubber chemicals cartel in October last year. These two probes are still on-going, as are related lawsuits against Crompton and other suppliers by shareholders and buyers of the products concerned.
Crompton acquired its nitrile rubber business through a 1996 merger with Uniroyal Chemical Corp. It put the business into a joint venture with Girsa, a subsidiary of DESC SA de CV, two years later. Crompton sold its interest in the $30-million-turnover Altamira, Mexico-based JV in late 2001.