Cartel Digest

Animal Feed Phosphates

Animal Feed Phosphates
  Overall Cartel Period 1969-2004
  Participants Yara Phosphates Oy, Kemira Oyj, and Yara Suomi Oy; Tessenderlo Chemie NV; FMC Foret SA, FMC Chemicals Netherlands B.V., and FMC Corp; Quimitecnica.com, Comericio e Industria Quimica SA; Jose de Mello SGPS SA; Ercros Industrial SA; Timab Industries SA, Compagnie Financiere et de Participation Roullier
  Total Fines (DOJ) No fines imposed
  Total Fines (EC) €175.4 million

In late 2003 and early 2004, the European Commission (“EC”) began investigating producers of animal feed phosphates, which are vital chemical compounds used in the feed for animals such as cattle, pigs, poultry, fish, and pets.  Regulators found that between 1969 and 2004, cartel members operated a market sharing and price-fixing cartel that affected a great part of the European Economic Area.  Cartel members conspired to allocate market shares, sales quotas and customers, as well as coordinating prices and sales conditions.

 

Enforcement Highlights:

  • The EC imposed fines totaling more than €175 million on cartel members.
  • For the first time, the EC concluded the investigation of a cartel in a “hybrid” scenario, where some companies agreed to settle while others did not.  Thus, the Commission adopted two separate decisions and the settling companies were granted a 10% reduction under the Settlement Notice. 
Europe
Company Fine Date
Yara Phosphates Oy, Kemira Oyj, and Yara Suomi Oy Immunity 07/20/2010
Tessenderlo Chemie NV € 83.7 million 07/20/2010
FMC Foret SA, FMC Chemicals Netherlands B.V., and FMC Corp. € 14.4 million 07/20/2010
Quimitecnica.com - Comericio e Industria Quimica SA € 1.7 million 07/20/2010
Jose de Mello SGPS SA € 1 million 07/20/2010
Ercros Industrial SA € 14.8 million 07/20/2010
Timab Industries SA Compagnie, Financiere et de Participation Roullier € 59.8 million 07/20/2010