ERJ staff report (BC)
Luxembourg - Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, has been granted a 20 percent cut in a European Union fine for colluding on prices of a synthetic rubber used to make diving equipment, shoe soles and condoms, report Heather Smith and Stephanie Bodoni of Bloomberg.
The EU General Court in Luxembourg reduced the company's fine to 106.2 million euros ($138.8 million) from 132.2 million euros. The legal reasoning behind the ruling was kept confidential at the parties' request.
In December 2007 the European Commission, the EU's antitrust watchdog, levied a total of 247.6 million euros on Eni and four competitors for carving up the market for chloroprene rubber, which is used to make latex rubber. The illegal cartel lasted from at least 1993 to 2002. Eni received the largest fine for being a repeat offender.
German drugmaker Bayer AG was given full immunity from a 201 million euro fine in the case because it told the Brussels-based commission about the cartel. The EU court in separate rulings in February rejected appeals by DuPont Co., Dow Chemical Co. and Denki Kagaku Kogyo KK against their fines in the cartel; DuPont and Dow have since appealed to the EU's highest court.
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