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Business

Dow Loses Price-Fixing Case

by Marc S. Reisch
February 25, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 8

A federal court jury has convicted Dow Chemical of participating in a conspiracy to fix urethane chemical prices. It ordered Dow to pay buyers $400 million, less than the $1.1 billion that buyers had sought. However, if the judge overseeing the case in Kansas approves the verdict, the award could be trebled to $1.2 billion under federal antitrust law. Dow says it is “disappointed that the jury found price fixing conduct,” which it continues to deny. Dow adds that it is evaluating all of its options, including appeal. According to court documents, customers complained that Dow, BASF, Huntsman Corp., Bayer, and LyondellBasell Industries attempted to fix prices of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, toluene diisocyanate, polyols, and urethane systems sold in the U.S. between 1999 and 2003. The other alleged conspirators earlier settled their cases out of court for a total of $139 million. When combined with polyols, isocyanates form polyurethanes for applications such as furniture cushions, auto paints, and insulation.

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