European Court Reduces $108M Acid Cartel Fine

     (CN) – A European court reduced a $108 million fine against a German company by 10 percent after it came clean on its participation in a cartel for monochloroacetic acid, which is used to make detergents, adhesives and thickeners.

     The Court of First Instance reduced the multimillion-dollar fine against German pharmaceutical company Hoechst GmbH by 10 percent under a leniency policy, because the company didn’t challenge allegations of manipulating the market for the chemical between 1984 and 1999.
     Hoechst’s reduced fine, at about $97 million, stands in contrast to the $123 million levied against Dutch multinational chemical company Akzo Nobel N.V. The court rejected an appeal to reduce Akzo’s fine or a combined $85 million penalty imposed against two of its subsidiaries.
     Akzo was unable to produce any evidence that its subsidiaries acted independently, and remains jointly and severally liable, the court said.
     The court dismissed the appeal and ordered the Akzo group to pay legal costs.

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