WASHINGTON (May 2)--Syndial S.p.A., the former Enichem S.p.A., has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $9 million criminal fine for participating in an international conspiracy to fix prices in the polychloroprene rubber market, according to the Department of Justice.
Under a plea agreement, which must be approved by the U.S. District Court in San Francisco--where the case was tried--Syndial agreed to assist the government in its ongoing polychloroprene rubber investigation. Syndial sells polychloroprene rubber under its Butaclor brand name.
Syndial was charged with violating Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum fine of $10 million for corporations.
Syndial is the second producer of chloroprene rubber to agree to a guilty plea in the ongoing price-fixing investigation. In March DuPont Dow Elastomers L.L.C. pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay an $84 million criminal fine.
The Justice Department said the U.S. market for chloroprene rubber--used in a variety of products, including tires, adhesives, coated fabrics, furniture and shoes--is about $200 million annually.
Press release from US Department of Justice