Issue Date: October 13, 2008
EC Fines European Wax Makers
The European Commission has levied fines totaling roughly $980 million on paraffin wax producers that, according to the commission, took part in a price-fixing cartel between 1992 and 2005. Nine companies were hit: ENI, ExxonMobil, Hansen & Rosenthal, Tudapetrol, MOL, Repsol, Sasol, RWE, and Total. Shell also participated in price fixing but was not fined because it revealed the cartel's existence to the commission. Sasol was hardest hit, with a fine of about $460 million, because it led the cartel, the commission says. Sasol's fine also reflected a 50% reduction due to its cooperation in the investigation. Sasol CEO Pat Davies expresses regret for the firm's participation but says it didn't anticipate the magnitude of the fine. "As we see things now, it is our intention to appeal," he says.
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