Issue Date: January 28, 2008
Collusion is alleged among pyrethroid makers
The World Bank says it has found evidence of collusion among four European chemical companies that supplied pyrethroid insecticides to a $114 million malaria control project in India. A report by the bank's department of institutional integrity alleges that Aventis CropScience India, Bayer India, BASF India, and Zeneca AgroChemicals (which was later awarded contracts as Syngenta) formed a cartel in 1999 to submit identically priced bids, equally divide contracts among themselves, rotate awarded contracts, inflate prices, and limit competition from other chemical companies that submitted lower-priced bids. The competitive bidding process may have been adversely affected in at least 18 of 21 contracts awarded by the program. The report claims that Bayer's purchase of Aventis CropScience may have prompted the breakup of the agreement in 2004. If found guilty of price collusion, perpetrators can be blocked from doing business with the World Bank. Bayer and BASF have launched internal investigations into the allegations.
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