The EU Commission fines cartellists in a plastic additives sector highlighting the risk of "facilitating" cartel participation (AC-Treuhand)

On 11 November 2009, the European Commission (the « Commission ») fined 24 companies a total of € 173 million for operating cartel arrangements in the plastic additive sector. The companies fixed prices, shared customers, allocated markets, and exchanged sensitive commercial information for tin stabilizers (1987-2000) and ESBO/esters heat stabilizers (1991-2000). Significantly, the Commission also fined AC Treuhand AG (« AC Treuhand »), a Swiss consultancy firm, a total of € 348,000 for cartel arrangements relative to tin stabilizers and ESBO/esters respectively. AC Treuhand was sanctioned in its capacity as a facilitator of the cartel arrangements. Decisions for both the tin stabilizer cartel arrangements and the ESBO/ester cartel arrangements were taken at meetings organized by AC

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