LUXEMBOURG—The European Union Court of Justice has upheld a lower court's decision not to overturn the European Commission's fines against DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical Co. for alleged price fixing of chloroprene rubber.
In late 2007, the EC fined five rubber companies a total of $325 million for participating in an alleged chloroprene rubber cartel between at least 1993 and 2002.
Du Pont and Dow faced liability because of the activities of DuPont Dow Elastomers L.L.C., a former DuPont-Dow joint venture that dissolved in 2004 and became DuPont Performance Elastomers L.L.C.
The initial combined fine for the two companies was just under $80 million, according to current exchange rates. In a June 2008 review, the fine against both companies was reduced to just under $60 million, plus a separate fine of approximately $6 million against Dow alone.
DuPont and Dow filed separate appeals in 2008 before the EU General Court, which upheld the fines in February 2012. The two companies then filed separate appeals before the Court of Justice, claiming the lower court's calculations and procedures were in error.
The Court of Justice rejected both companies' arguments in separate decisions Sept. 26.
It found that both the European Commission and the lower court had been correct in finding that Dow had exercised a decisive influence over the joint venture's conduct in the chloroprene rubber market. It also found DuPont's grounds for appeal either inadmissible or unfounded.
As well as rejecting DuPont and Dow's appeals, the Court of Justice ordered the companies to pay the European Commission's court costs.