Wilmington, Delaware -Â E I DuPont de Nemours is expecting to be hit by a fine from the EU antitrust authorities over illegal price-fixing in polychloroprene.
In a 10-Q filing to the SEC authorities in the US dated 31 October, the company says it, "expects EU antitrust authorities to issue a decision, including the imposition of fines. It is possible this may occur by year-end 2007.
The issue related to activities of the company DuPont-Dow Elastomers, which was a 50-50 joint venture between DuPont and Dow. In 2004 DPDE was broken up, renamed DuPont Performance Elastomers (DPE) and became a 100 percent subsidiary of DuPont.
DuPont has already been fined $84 million (€57.7 million) by the US authorities and Can$ 4 million (€2.7 million) by the Canadian authorities. DPE pleaded guilty to charges of illegal price fixing in polychloroprene rubber prior to these fines. DuPont said it is paying the US fine in six equal installments and has now paid three of the six installments.
DuPont said it could not make any predictions about the size of any potential EU fines, but it has increased the provision to cover such fines. The company said it has increased reserves to cover the EU fines to $65 million (€45 million), of which it expects to recover $13 million from its former DPDE partner, Dow Chemical.
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10-Q statement from DuPont