The Belgian Competition Council fines three companies nearly € 1.5 M for price fixing, market sharing and output-limitation in the chemical industry and applies leniency (Bayer - Ferro - Lonza and Solutia Europe)

On 4 April 2008, the Belgian Competition Council found the three biggest producers of Butyl Benzyl Phthalate (BBP) - i.e. Bayer, Ferro and Solutia Europe - and a distributor (Lonza) guilty of fixing price, market-sharing, limiting output and exchanging strategic information. BBP is a chemical used among others to produce joints, pastes and flooring products made of PVC. Bayer, who blew the whistle, was granted full immunity. The other participants to the cartel benefited from reduction in their fines due to their subsequent requests for leniency. Ultimately, Ferro was fined €175,594, Solutia Europe €197,543 and Lonza was fined €114,618. Below we describe the facts of the case and then provide an evaluation of the characterisation of the prohibited behaviour as a cartel and of the fining

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Authors

  • Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
  • DG COMP (Brussels)

Quotation

Henri Piffaut, Stéphane Dewulf, The Belgian Competition Council fines three companies nearly € 1.5 M for price fixing, market sharing and output-limitation in the chemical industry and applies leniency (Bayer - Ferro - Lonza and Solutia Europe), 4 April 2008, e-Competitions Bulletin April 2008, Art. N° 22118

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