EU fines animal feed phosphates cartel 175.6 million euros

08:36, July 21, 2010      

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The European Commission Tuesday fined 13 animal feed phosphates producers a total of 175.6 million euros (about 226.6 million U.S. dollars) for setting up a cartel which lasted for three decades to fix price on the market.

"After the pre-stressing steel case, I am again surprised that the main producers of a vital compound for animal feed abused a substantial part of the European animal feed market for nearly 35 years," said Joaquin Almunia, Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy.

Among the 13 companies, Tessenderlo Chemie N.V. of Belgium got the largest fine of 83.7 million euros (107.9 million dollars), while Kemira of Finland was immune for reporting the case to the Commission in 2003.

The cartel which existed from as early as March 1969 until February 2004 allocated market shares, feed phosphates sales quotas and customers among themselves, the Commission said in a statement.

Animal feed phosphates are chemical compounds used in feed for animals such as cattle, pigs, poultry, fish and pets.



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