Cartel Digest

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane Foam
  Overall Cartel Period 2005-2010
  Participants
  Total Fines (DOJ) $114 million
  Total Fines (EC) No fines imposed
Starting on July 27, 2010 the European Commission (“EC”) carried out unannounced inspections on the premises of four major producers of polyurethane foam based on suspicions that the companies were violating European competition rules by colluding to coordinate the sales prices of various types of foam. Polyurethane foam is mainly used in car seats and household furniture such as mattresses and sofas. According to the EC, from October 2005 until July 2010, the participants had numerous meetings and telephone calls at all levels of European management in an attempt to pass on raw material price increases of bulk chemicals to customers and avoid aggressive price competition.
 
Enforcement Highlights:
 
  • In January 2014 the EC announced a settlement with all four companies and imposed total fines of over €114 million.
Company Conspiracy Period Fine (USD) Plea Date No. of Excluded Individuals Plea Agreement
Vita 10/05-7/10 No fines imposed  
Carpenter 10/05-7/10 $75 million  
Recticel 10/05-7/10 $7.4 million  
Eurofoam, Recticel and Greiner* 10/05-7/10 $14.8 million  
Greiner and Recticel* 10/05-7/10 $9.3 million  
Recticel* 10/05-7/10 $7.4 million