BRUSSELS, Belgium (March 20)—The European Commission has dropped a bid to impose anti-dumping duties on Egyptian and Russian carbon black producers. The proposal, dated Feb. 19, failed to win majority support from the European Union's Council of Ministers representing the 15 member states, according to an EC spokeswoman. "This is the end of the matter because these cases have a life span of 15 months. If there is no majority after 15 months, then anti-dumping measures cannot proceed," the spokeswoman said. The decision ends an investigation launched in December 2001 following a complaint by carbon black producers Cabot Europe Ltd. of France, and Columbian Chemicals Europa GmbH and Degussa A.G. of Germany. EC investigators found dumping of rubber-grade carbon black had occurred and proposed duties of 20.5, 35 and 54.8 percent, respectively, on Omsky Zavod Technicheskogo Uglerod OJSC, Jaroslavsky Technichesky Uglerod OJSC and Tuimasytechuglerod OJSC, all of Russia. The EC also proposed imposing anti-dumping duties of 6.6 percent on Egyptian carbon black producer, Alexandria Carbon Black Co. SAE.