Cartel Digest

Rubber Chemicals

Rubber Chemicals
  Overall Cartel Period 1995-2002
  Participants Bayer AG; Crompton Corporation
  Total Fines (DOJ) $116 million
  Total Fines (EC) €75.9 million

In 2002, the European Commission (“EC”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) investigated manufacturers of rubber chemicals, which are used to improve the elasticity, strength, and durability of rubber products.  The worldwide market for rubber chemicals was estimated at approximately €1.5 billion in 2001.  Regulators found that, from at least 1996 to 2001, cartel members exchanged information and agreed to raise prices in the European Economic Area and worldwide markets. 

 

Enforcement Highlights:

  • The DOJ imposed fines totaling over $116 million, and executives from the two largest cartel members entered plea agreements and agreed to serve a total of 17 months in prison.
  • The EC imposed fines totaling over €75 million.
  • The Canadian Competition Bureau imposed fines of $3.65 million (CAD) on Bayer and $9 million (CAD) on Crompton. 
Company Conspiracy Period Fine (USD) Plea Date No. of Excluded Individuals Plea Agreement
Bayer AG 7/95-12/01 $66 million 12/09/2004 5 Plea Agreement
Crompton Corporation 7/95-12/01 $50 million 03/15/2004 3 Plea Agreement
Individual Company Prison Sentence Fine (USD) Plea Date Plea Agreement
Martin Petersen, Head of Marketing and Sales for the Rubber Group Bayer AG 4 months $50,000 12/02/2004 Plea Agreement
Wolfgang Koch, Product Manager of Rubber Chemicals Bayer AG 4 months $50,000 06/24/2005 Plea Agreement
Joseph Eisenberg, Executive VP Crompton Corporation No fines imposed  
James Conway, Executive VP, Performance Chemicals and Elastomers Crompton Corporation No fines imposed  
Canada
Company Fine Date
Bayer AG $ 2.9 million 10/30/2007
Crompton Corporation $ 9 million 05/28/2004
Europe
Company Fine Date
Flexsys NV Immunity 12/21/2005
Bayer AG € 58.9 million 12/21/2005
Crompton Manufacturing Co., Inc. and Crompton Europe Ltd. and Chemtura Corp. € 13.6 million 12/21/2005
General Quimica SA and Repsol SA € 3.4 million 12/21/2005