Wednesday, October 1, 2008

When is a cartel legal?

Looks like the EU can fine companies headquarted outside Europe for cartel activities.

What about OPEC then ?

EU Fines Wax Producers EUR676 Million For Price Fixing

BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- The European Commission Wednesday fined nine wax producers a total of EUR676 million for participating in a paraffin wax cartel.

The nine producers are Sasol Ltd. (SOL.JO), ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM), ENI S.P.A (ENI.MI), Hansen & Rosenthal, Tudapetrol, MOL, Repsol, RWE and Total S.A. ( 12027.FR).

Sasol, a South African energy company, was the leader of the cartel and will have to pay EUR318 million, the commission said. Total will have to pay the second largest part of the fine at EUR128 million.

"There is probably not a household or company in Europe that hasn't bought products affected by this 'paraffin mafia' cartel," said Neelie Kroes, the commission's antitrust chief, in a statement.

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