German chemical manufacturer Hoechst has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $12 million fine for conspiring to fix prices for monochloroacetic acid between 1995 and 1997.
Monochloroacetic acid is used in plastic additives, pharmaceuticals and herbicides.
Hoechst are the third company to plead guilty to price fixing for this industrial chemical, along with Elf Atochem and Akzo Nobel. The US department of justice said that the three players conspired to fix prices and divide up the market.
In March 2002, Elf Atochem, now part of the TotalFinaElf group plead guilty to a similar charge and agreed to pay $5 million in fines. Furthermore, an executive from Elf Atochem served a 90 day jail term and paid $50,000 in fines.
Akzo Nobel was the first of the three to plead guilty in June 2001 and agreed to pay $12 million for their role in the scandal.
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