The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to a number of companies alleging that they participated in a cartel for chloroprene rubber. This substance is a synthetic rubber which is mainly used for the production of technical parts (cables, hoses, power transmission belts, etc). The companies have two months to submit a written defence to these allegations. If the Commission finds at the end of the investigation that a cartel was in operation, the companies concerned could face fines of up to 10 per cent of their worldwide turnover.