WILMINGTON, Del. (Nov. 14, 2007) — DuPont expects to be fined soon by the European Union antitrust authorities over price-fixing of polychloroprene rubber.
In its Oct. 31 10-Q filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, DuPont said it anticipates the EU will issue a decision, including the imposition of fines, possibly before the end of 2007. The company said it can't predict the size of the fines, but increased its reserves to cover them to $65 million.
The investigation and fines stems from actions by employees of DuPont-Dow Elastomers L.L.C., the former partnership of DuPont and Dow Chemical Co. that dissolved in 2004. DuPont pleaded guilty to price-fixing of polychloroprene rubber, and was fined $84 million by U.S. authorities and $3.82 million by Canadian antitrust officials.
DuPont said it is paying the U.S. fine in six annual installments, and has paid three of them so far. The company said it expects to recover $13 million of the anticipated EU fine from its former partner, Dow Chemical.
The DuPont portion of the business now operates as DuPont Performance Elastomers L.L.C.