EU fines Shell and ICI

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The Independent Online
THE EUROPEAN Commission is to fine 14 chemicals companies, including Shell and ICI, ecu23.5m ( pounds 18.5m), writes Andrew Marshall.

The move, announced yesterday, is an attempt to regain some credibility for the EC after an earlier attempt in 1988 to levy fines collapsed. The European Court of Justice ruled in June that because Jacques Delors, the Commission president, had not signed key documents in all the right languages, the decision was void.

The Commission charged that the firms ran a price-fixing and market share cartel in polyvinyl chloride 10 years ago.

The heaviest fine was levied on Solvay, the Belgian company, at ecu3.5m ( pounds 2.8m). ICI faces a fine of ecu2.5m ( pounds 2m) and Shell ecu850,000 ( pounds 670,000).