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The Times: Commission plans massive cartel fine: ‘Shell’s fine, as well as ENI’s, was increased because it was a repeat offender’

November 29, 2006 
 
The European Commission is expected to impose today its second-largest cartel fine against Shell, Dow Chemical, ENI, Unipetrol and Trade-Stomil.

It is not yet clear the level of the fines to be levied on the oil and chemical firms for fixing prices of synthetic rubber, used mainly in tyre production. 
 
It is thought that Bayer will not be fined because it was the first company to inform the European Union executive about the cartel.

The highest cartel fine the Commission has set by sector was €790.5 million (£536 million) on a vitamin industry case in 2001.

“The statements from Bayer were to a large extent confirmed by the statements given by Dow. At a later stage, Shell also admitted to having participated in the cartel,” the draft document said.

It said that Dow’s fine was reduced because of the information that it had given, but Shell’s comments did not add much value to the investigation and so it did not get any reduction. Shell’s fine, as well as ENI’s, was increased because it was a repeat offender. The Commission fined Shell €108 million in September for fixing prices of bitumen in the Netherlands. The document said that the companies had fixed prices between 1996 and 2002. (Reuters)

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13130-2477205.html

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