The European Court of First Instance (CFI) has ruled on two appeals against the Commission’s decision to impose fines of €66.34m on five companies in the Akzo Nobel Group, BASF AG and UCB SA. The cartel engaged in price-fixing, market-sharing and concerted actions against competitors in the choline chloride sector (vitamin B4 used in animal feed) in the European Economic Area between March 1994 and October 1998. In the first Judgment, the CFI rejected Akzo Nobel’s claim for an annulment of the Commission’s decision and upheld the fine. In the second, the CFI decided that the ten per cent reduction of fine granted by the Commission to BASF AG for co-operation was unwarranted based on the information actually provided on the European aspects of the cartel were of little value and it recalculated the fine, increasing it by €54,000 to €35.024m. On the other hand, UCB’s fine was reduced by 90 per cent to €1.87m on the basis it had been the party that reported the European cartel to the Commission.
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CFI hands down judgments on choline chloride cartel
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