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Oct 01 2008

EU nails Sasol with €318 million fine

Published by at 2:38 pm under Companies

The EU commission has fined a so-called wax cartel, of which Sasol was a member, a massive €676 million (about R8 billion) for fixing prices, a Georg von Holtzbrinck publication reported today. Sasol was ordered to pay the single biggest part of the fine, namely €318 million (about R3,8 billion), because it “played the leading role in the cartel”.

The EU Commission called the cartel the “paraffin mafia” and said Sasol was the boss of this mafia grouping.

According to the publication, there were nine companies in the wax cartel. Between 1992 and 2005 the cartel members agreed prices between each other and shared the market between themselves.

The EU Commission said today in Brussels “the actions of the cartel were an especially big contravention of the competition regulations of the EU agreement”.

Other companies in the cartel were German company RWE (got a fine of €37 million), ENI, ExxonMobil, Tudapetrol, MOL, Repsol, Total and the German firm Hansen & Rosenthal. 

Neelie Kroes, EU anti-trust commissioner, said households across the whole EU paid inflated prices to the “paraffin mafia”. “This kind of cartel activities the Commission cannot and won’t allow,” she said.

It wasn’t clear from the report how much each of these “mafia members” was ordered to pay.

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