A cartel operated by BASF, UCB and Akzo Nobel, amongst others, has been busted
by the European Commission, leading to a euro 66.34 million fine
being imposed on the three multinationals. The market where the
offence took place is that for the animal feed vitamin B4, used
by poultry and pig farmers. The secret alliance came to the watchdog's
attention through a whistleblower stepping forward under the
leniency programme. It was revealed that the companies had been
meeting regularly to increase prices and divide the market. As
part of the deal European and North American producers agreed
to stay away from each other's domestic markets. The companies
controlled 80 per cent of the world market for B4.

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