On 14 July 2020, the European Commission imposed fines totalling EUR 260 million on several ethylene purchasing companies for coordinating their price negotiation strategy vis-à-vis the ethylene sellers.
The Commission’s investigation revealed that from December 2011 to March 2017, Celanese, Clariant, Orbia and Westlake colluded to lower the purchase prices of ethylene, to the detriment of companies supplying and selling ethylene.
In particular, the groups coordinated their price negotiation strategies before and during the bilateral ‘Monthly Contract Price’ (“MCP”) negotiations with ethylene sellers to drive the MCP down to their advantage. They also exchanged price-related information. These practices are prohibited by EU competition rules.
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