BRUSSELS, Belgium (July 14, 2011)—A European court has overturn the fines imposed on Czech and Polish styrene-butadiene and polybutadiene rubber producers in a price-fixing case, and reduced the fine for an Italian company.
The General Court of the European Union upheld similar fines for Shell companies, and ruled that a Dow Chemical Co. subsidiary's involvement in the illegal cartel was shorter than the European Union maintained, but did not cut the firm's fine.
The EU imposed fines totally $735 million in 2006 against 13 emulsion SBR and BR producers and traders. The General Court said that the evidence was insufficient in the cases involving Czech Republic Unipetrol, its subsidiary Kaucuk and Poland's Trade-Stomil. The court dismissed the fines of $24.9 million for the Czech companies, and $5.38 million for the Polish concern.
Eni S.p,A. and its Polimeri Europa S.p.A. subsidiary's fines had been increased 50 percent because they'd been caught before in participating in a cartel, the court said. Again, the court ruled there wasn't enough evidence, and cut the original fine to $385.8 million.
The court upheld the $227.8 million in fines for Shell Group companies.