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Brussels, 8th May 2007

Anti-trust: European Commission confirms issuing a Statement of Objections against alleged participants in a cartel for chloroprene rubber

The European Commission can confirm that it has recently sent a Statement of Objections to a number of undertakings regarding their alleged role in a cartel for chloroprene rubber.

Chloroprene rubber is a synthetic rubber which is mainly used for the production of technical rubber parts (cables, hoses, v-belts, power transmission belts etc.), for adhesives in the shoe and furniture industry (soles, heels, coated fabrics etc.) and as latex for the production of diving equipment, bitumen modifications and inner soles of shoes.

Procedural background

Statements of Objections are a formal step in European antitrust investigations. After receiving such statements, companies have around two months to defend themselves in writing. They can also ask the Commission to hear their case at an oral hearing which usually takes place about one month after the written reply has been received. Only after having heard the company's defence can the Commission take a final decision, which may be accompanied by fines of up to ten per cent of a company’s worldwide annual turnover.

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