The Belgian Competition Council fines participants of a hardcore cartel in the chemical industry a record total fine of € 500,000 and grants leniency (Bayer, Solutia Europe, Ferro Europe, Polynt)

Background The product concerned was BBP (butyl benzyl phthalate), a chemical which is mostly used in the production of PVC products. The cartel culminated in scheduled meetings where the participants, the three main producers of BBP in Belgium and a distributor colluded by price fixing, market sharing (including the fixing of minimum prices and of sales quotas) and exchanging sensitive information (in breach of Article 81 EC and of Article 2 of the Belgian law on the protection of economic competition of 10 June 2006). However, the cartel did not contain retaliatory mechanisms against parties who breached the set agreements. The cartel's duration was of approximately 8 years (from 1994 to mid-2002). The decision The investigation was launched after certain companies made leniency

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Auteurs

  • Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
  • Lexxion Publisher (Berlin)

Citation

Jacques Derenne, Silvia J. Pronk, The Belgian Competition Council fines participants of a hardcore cartel in the chemical industry a record total fine of € 500,000 and grants leniency (Bayer, Solutia Europe, Ferro Europe, Polynt), 4 avril 2008, e-Competitions April 2008, Art. N° 17552

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