LONDON (May 29, 2008) — A group of tire manufacturers is suing rubber chemical suppliers for reparations over an alleged price-fixing cartel that occurred in Europe between 1996 and 2002.
Twenty-six plaintiffs, including Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Europe Ltd., Continental A.G., Michelin, Pirelli S.p.A., Bridgestone Corp. and their allied companies, accuse the 23 defendants of illegally fixing prices in chemicals such as antioxidants, antiozonants and primary accelerators.
Defendants include Shell Chemical Corp., Bayer A.G., Dow Chemical Co., and the Czech groups Trade-Stomil, Unipetrol and Syntho.
The case was filed Feb. 22 in London's High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division.
The amount of damages is unspecified because under British laws of procedure it is not necessary to establish a monetary amount for damages in the initial complaint, according to a source close to the case. No court dates have been set, the source said.
The European Commission fined Bayer, Chemtura Corp. and General Quimica a total of about $90 million in late 2005 for an alleged price-fixing conspiracy.
Flexsys N.V., which cooperated with EC authorities, was not fined.