Cartel Digest

Acrylic Glass (methacrylates)

Acrylic Glass (methacrylates)
  Overall Cartel Period 1997-2002
  Participants Arkema SA/Elf Aquitaine SA/Total SA (group referred to as Atofina); Imperial Chemicals Industries PLC; Lucite International Ltd.; Quinn Barlo Ltd.; Degussa AG
  Total Fines (DOJ) No fines imposed
  Total Fines (EC) €344.6 million

In December 2002, the European Commission (“EC”) began investigating manufacturers of acrylic glass, a transparent thermoplastic used primarily in the car industry, household appliances, optical media (i.e., DVDs, lenses) and electronics.  Acrylic glass is commonly recognized by names such as Plexiglas and Lucite, and its market value within the European Economic Area (“EEA”) was estimated at €665 million in 2000.  The EC found that, between 1997 and 2002, cartel members coordinated price increases throughout the entire EEA and discussed raising the charges for extra services such as cutting and dying of sheets. 

 

Enforcement Highlights:

  • The fines imposed by the EC totaled over €344 million.
  • Degussa AG received full immunity for revealing to the EC the existence of the cartel.  Two other companies were given partial leniency reductions for their cooperation. 
Europe
Company Fine Date
Arkema SA/Elf Aquitaine SA/Total SA (group referred to as Atofina) € 219.1 million 05/31/2006
Imperial Chemicals Industries PLC € 91.4 million 05/31/2006
Lucite International Ltd. € 25 million 05/31/2006
Quinn Barlo Ltd. € 9 million 05/31/2006
Degussa AG Immunity 05/31/2006