June 27, 2008

EU Fines Aluminum Fluoride Producers for Price Fixing

EU fines aluminum fluoride producers for price fixing

BRUSSELS, June 25 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission Wednesday fined aluminum fluoride producers 4.97 million euros (7.7 million U.S. dollars) for price fixing.

Six companies from Italy, Switzerland, Tunisia, Mexico and Norway were found to have set worldwide target prices and divided markets in the second half of 2000, creating a cartel.

The Commission said its investigation was triggered by an application for immunity from Boliden Odda, a Norwegian producer involved in the cartel, in March 2005.

Aluminum fluoride is a chemical used to lower the smelting temperature of aluminum and therefore reduce energy consumption during the process.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said there should be no safe haven for anyone who breaches the rules.

"This decision shows that the Commission takes all cartels seriously. Whatever the scope of the affected market, duration of the cartel or size of the companies involved, there is no safe haven for those who do not play by the rules," she said.

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