The Company decided to intensify its competition compliance program in 2000. In view of Akzo Nobel’s strong and committed policy to crackdown on any potential cartel issues, the Company fully cooperated with the commission in its investigations.
Partly as a consequence of its intensified compliance program, Akzo Nobel is still involved in investigations by the authorities in the United States, Canada and the European Union into several alleged violations of respective antitrust laws. The Company has cooperated extensively with the authorities in all of these cases, which have a tendency to be time-consuming and complicated.
In 2000, the Company took a EUR 200 million nonrecurring charge on its balance sheet. Based on the developments in a number of pending cases, in April this year, the Company adjusted its provision. The fine imposed by the Commission for choline chloride has been provided for in full.
Choline chloride, also known as Vitamin B4, is the most widely-used form of supplementing diets for production animals. Mainly used as an essential feed additive, it is indispensable for a number of fundamental processes in the body. One of five choline specialties produced by Akzo Nobel, the product is produced by the Company’s Functional Chemicals business in Delfzijl (The Netherlands), Marano Ticino (Italy) and Yixing City (China).
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