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The European Commission is continuing its anticartel activity with actions aimed at the detergents industry and makers of the specialty chemical aluminum fluoride. The commission has raided the European offices of producers of laundry and dishwasher detergents and fabric softeners. In a statement, the commission says it "has reason to believe" that the companies concerned may have participated in a price-fixing cartel. Manufacturers visited by investigators include Henkel and Procter & Gamble. Meanwhile, the commission has imposed combined fines of nearly $7.5 million on four producers of aluminum fluoride, used to lower the smelting temperature of aluminum, for operating a cartel between July and December 2000. Fines were imposed on Italy's Fluorsid, Minmet Financing of Switzerland, Tunisia's Société des Industries Chimique du Fluor, and the Mexican firms Industrial Química de Mexico and Q. B. Industries. Norway's Boliden Odda received full immunity from fines because it was the first to provide information about the cartel, in March 2005.
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