Middlebury, Conn. (Dec. 21)—Chemtura Corp. has been fined about $16 million by the European Commission as a result of an EC investigation into price fixing in the rubber chemicals sector.
Chemtura said its continued cooperation with the EC throughout the investigation, which covered practices prior to October 2002, resulted in maximum leniency—a 50-percent reduction in its fine.
The company believes that this marks the end of coordinated investigations by the U.S., Canada and the European Union that were first publicly announced in autumn 2002.
"We are pleased to see this lengthy and expensive legacy ordeal resolved," said Robert Wood, Chemtura chairman, president and CEO.
Separately, Chemtura announced that it has settled antitrust claims from rubber chemicals direct-purchasers with claimants representing over half of the company´s relevant U.S. rubber chemicals sales and also has settled other antitrust-related civil matters for a combined total of about $50 million.
The chemicals group said that it will take a fourth-quarter charge of about $16 million for the EC fine and of $11 million to increase its previously established reserves for antitrust matters.
Bayer A.G. also has been investigated as part of the same case and its penalty was expected to be announced at the same time as Chemtura´s. Thus far, however, there have been no decisions announced by Bayer or the EU.