A PYMNTS Company

EC Fines Ethylene Purchasers In Cartel Settlement

 |  July 14, 2020

The European Commission has fined Orbia, Clariant, and Celanese a total of €260 million (US$296.4 million) for breaching EU antitrust rules. Westlake was not fined as it revealed the cartel to the Commission.

The companies took part in a cartel concerning purchases on the ethylene merchant market. They colluded to buy ethylene for the lowest possible price. All four companies acknowledged their involvement in the cartel and agreed to settle the case.

Executive Vice-President of the Commission Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said, “This cartel aimed at manipulating the prices which the companies paid for their ethylene purchases. Ethylene is a flammable chemical that’s used to make materials, like PVC, that go into many products we use every day. The four companies in the cartel have colluded and exchanged information on purchasing prices which is illegal. The Commission does not tolerate any form of cartels. EU antitrust rules not only prohibit cartels related to coordination of selling prices, but also cartels related to coordination of purchasing prices. This protects the competitive process for inputs.”

Full Content: New York Times

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.