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The European Commission has levied price-fixing fines totaling roughly $120 million on producers of sodium chlorate, a paper-bleaching chemical. The penalized companies are Finnish Chemicals, now owned by Kemira; Arkema and its former parent Elf Aquitaine; Aragonesas Industrias y Energia; and Uralita. Between late-1994 and 2000, the commission says, these companies fixed prices and allocated markets through meetings and other illicit contacts. AkzoNobel and its Eka Chemicals subsidiary received immunity for being first to provide information about the cartel. Finnish Chemicals cooperated and had its fine reduced by 50%. However, the commission says Arkema's fine was increased 90% to more than $90 million because it had participated in three cartels before this one.
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