EU fines polyurethane makers 114 mn euros for price fixing

The European Commission on Wednesday fined several polyurethane manufacturers 114 million euros for price fixing in the furniture and auto sectors of the market.

It said that in the 2005-10 period, Vita, Carpenter, Recticel and Eurofoam operated a cartel in the supply of polyurethane foam to household furniture and auto manufacturers.

Prices were fixed in 10 markets -- Austria, Belgium, Britain, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Britain, it said.

Vita, headquartered in the Cayman Islands, was not fined because it had notified the Commission of the cartel, while US firm Carpenter was hit with the largest penalty of 75 million euros.

Recticel of Belgium and its Eurofoam joint venture with Austrian firm Greiner incurred smaller fines.

The cartel worked to "avoid aggressive price competition between the four producers," the Commission said.