Ethylene purchasers (AT.40410) [Archived]

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ethylene purchasers (AT.40410) [Archived]
  • Case facts
  • Timeline
  • Commentary

Ethylene purchasers (AT.40410) [Archived]


NOTE—appeal lodged before the General Court in Case T- 590/20

ARCHIVED—this case hub reflects the position at the date of the decision of 14 July 2020; it is no longer maintained.

See further, timeline and commentary.

Case facts

OutlineEuropean Commission Article 101 TFEU investigation into a cartel concerning purchases on the ethylene merchant market (AT.40410).

Latest developmentOn 14 July 2020, the Commission issued its infringement decision after the four companies settled with the Commission and acknowledged their involvement in the cartel. Total fines totalling €260.443m were imposed.

Total fines imposed on each company were:
• Westlake—no fine (as a result of being awarded immunity)
• Orbia—€22,367,000 (including a reduction of 45% for leniency and a reduction of 10% for settling)
• Clariant—€155,769,000 (including a reduction of 30% for leniency and a reduction of 10% for settling)
• Celanese—€82,307,000 (including a reduction of 20% for leniency and a reduction of 10% for settling)

Parties• Westlake Chemical (hereafter, Westlake), a US-based company, is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and building products

• Orbia Advance (hereafter, Orbia), a Mexican-based company, is a major international polyvinyl chloride producer

• Clariant AG (hereafter, Clariant), a Swiss-based company, is one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies

• Celanese Corporation (hereafter, Celanese), a US-based company, is a global chemical and specialty materials company

BackgroundOn 16 May 2016,

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