The BKartA this week imposed fines totalling €15.11
million on 12 German chemical wholesalers, active in the
distribution of chemicals, on account of anti-competitive
agreements. With this, the BKartA concluded the first part of its
extensive cartel proceedings against the chemical wholesale
The 12 participants in the cartel had agreed prices and supply
quotas for many years (in some cases decades) for standardised
industrial chemicals (so called "commodities").
They had also additionally allocated customers through customer
protection agreements. The cartel activities were limited to the
wholesalers' distribution business and did not affect direct
supplies of chemicals from producers.
The scope of the investigation and the regional structure of
many of the cartels and agreements between the chemical wholesalers
led the BKartA to split the proceedings into separate parts. The
fines issued in this first round of the BKartA's investigation
relate to a total of six different regional cartels between
wholesale distributors of chemicals.
The investigation was first launched in late 2006, following a
leniency application by Brenntag AG (Mühlheim/Ruhr). As
the first participant to apply for leniency, no fine was imposed on
In the course of the proceedings, all other companies under
investigation which were consequently fined, agreed to cooperate
fully, a factor that was taken into account when setting the
Although the fining orders can still be appealed before the
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court, all parties involved
have agreed to terminate the proceedings under settlement and will
therefore not appeal
To view Community Week, Issue 501; 10th December 2010
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