Canada’s Competition Bureau has announced that Bayer Group has pleaded guilty to participating in three separate price-fixing cartels in the rubber and chemicals markets and will be fined a total of CAD$3.6 million. Bayer AG was fined CAD$2.9 million and CAD$400,000 respectively for its roles in rubber chemicals and nitrile rubber conspiracies. Rubber chemicals are used mainly in the production of car tires, hoses, mats, and gloves, while nitrile rubber is a synthetic rubber used to make gaskets, seals, adhesives, footwear and certain construction materials. Bayer Corporation, Bayer AG’s US subsidiary, was fined CAD$345,000 for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices for aliphatic polyester polyols made from adipic acid, which are used primarily in surface coatings, furniture and synthetic leather.
In each alleged conspiracy, Bayer pleaded guilty to violating Section 45 of Canada’s Competition Act. Section 45 makes it a criminal offense to fix prices or share markets so as to create an undue lessening of competition.