ERJ staff report (DS)
Brussels -- The European Commission has imposed fines totalling € 34.23 million on the Bayer and Zeon groups for fixing prices for Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR) in violation of the EC Treaty's and the EEA Agreement's ban on cartels and restrictive business practices
The Commission said, "Between late 2000 and 2002, Bayer and Zeon managed to raise or otherwise stabilise prices through a series of meetings and other illicit contacts. Bayer's and Zeon's fines are reduced by 30% and 20%, respectively, because they co-operated with the investigation under the Commission's 2002 Leniency Notice." It added, "However Bayer's fine was increased by 50% because it had been fined for cartel activity in a previous Commission decision." In addition, Zeon benefited from a further reduction as it was the first to disclose the first period of the cartel to the Commission.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "This is the fourth cartel decision in the synthetic rubber industry in just over 3 years. I hope that this is the last. Buyers of synthetic rubber should be concerned about how much these cartels have cost them. And shareholders should be concerned about how much the fines have cost them.""
Bayer was fined Euro 28.87 million, while Zeon was fined Euro 5.36 million
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Press release from EC