BRUSSELS, Belgium (June 17)—The European Commission has sent several European producers of polybutadiene rubber a "statement of objections," alleging participation in a cartel, according to one producer.
A legal spokesman for Bayer A.G. confirmed the company had received a letter, and that it applied to the period before the synthetic rubber business under Lanxess GmbH was split away. He declined to make any further comment, however, except to say the company intended to cooperate with the authorities.
Attempts to contact the EC and other producers of polybutadiene rubber were unsuccessful.
According to a report from the AFX news agency, a commission spokeswoman said, "We can confirm that the statement of objections was sent."
AFX did not name any companies involved in receipt of the letter, but said it concerns alleged price-fixing in butadiene. A statement of objection is the first step in a formal procedure directed at punishing breaches of European Union competition law. Companies receiving notification from the commission have until September to reply.