While five rubber companies were given a hefty fine, a sixth company was let off. The sixth company was let off by blowing the whistle on the cartel to the European Union. Chloroprene rubber is used for numerous products used in the household. While it stretches under stress like a rubber band, it returns to the original shape after that.
It is estimated that the firms have overcharged consumers by at least ten to thirty percent. The cartel operated for nine years between 1993 to 2002. During those years, the firms set each others’ market shares and prices according to the European Commission.
Companies held meetings to discuss prices and exchange sensitive information according to the regulators. Those six firms would make one-hundred percent of the product.
Eni which is an Italian firm received the heaviest fine. It would have to pay over one-hundred and thirty million Euros.
This wasn’t the first time that Eni has been caught by the regulators. As a result, the firm’s penalty was increased by sixty percent.
Bayer, a German firm was the one that blew the whistle. As a result, it didn’t have to pay the two-hundred million Euro fine.
DuPont and Dow Chemical which are from the United States were fined fifty-nine point three Euros and forty-eight point seven Euros respectively. But by cooperating with the investigators, their fine was reduced by twenty-five percent.
Japanese firms Denka and Tosoh were fined forty-seven million Euros and four point eight million Euros respectively. Tosoh’s fine was halved because it too cooperated with the authorities.