OSWIECIM, Poland—Synthos S.A. has made a recourse claim to Ineos after the European Commission imposed a penalty on the company for involvement in cartel activities for the purchase of styrene.
In a Nov. 29 decision, the European Commission fined five companies, including Synthos, a total of $165 million (€157 million) for participating in a cartel concerning purchases on the styrene monomer merchant market.
Other companies fined were Sunpor, Synbra, Synthomer P.L.C., and Trinseo, while United Kingdom chemicals giant Ineos was not fined due to it revealing the cartel under the Commission's "leniency program."
According to the commission, unlike in most cartels, where companies conspire to increase their sales prices, the six companies involved in this case "colluded to lower an element of the price of styrene."
In particular, the commission said, the companies "coordinated their price negotiation strategies" prior to and during the bilateral styrene monthly contract price settlement (SMCP) negotiations with styrene sellers.