media release

Akzo Nobel regrets past conduct in former MCAA cartel

Press Release - Akzo Nobel has received a verdict from the European Commission for breaching competition law in the European Mono Chloroacetic Acid (MCAA) market between 1984 and 1999.

Since January 2000, Akzo Nobel has had a company-wide program in place to intensify competition law compliance. The investigation by the Commission commenced in March 2000 and in view of Akzo Nobel’s strong and committed policy to crackdown on any potential cartel issues, the Company has cooperated fully with the Commission in its investigations.

Hans Wijers, Chairman of Akzo Nobel’s Board of Management, said: “We regret Akzo Nobel’s past conduct in this former MCAA cartel. However, I must say that it angers me that we have to deal with another anti-competition issue of this kind because it means that the vast majority of Akzo Nobel’s 63,000 employees are being unfairly tarred with the brush of events that happened many years ago. I am determined that we should put this behind us: with full commitment to ensure that these kind of actions do not occur again, and zero tolerance for those who undertake any anti-competitive behavior.
we cooperated extensively with the European authorities, we feel aggrieved about the huge amount of this EUR 84 million fine. We will study the argumentation behind it to see whether the calculation is fair.”

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.

In 2000, Akzo Nobel took a EUR 200 million nonrecurring charge. Based on the developments in a number of pending cases, in mid 2004, the Company adjusted its provision. This fine was partly provided for. A new update will be given with the annual figures on February 4.

MCAA is used as an intermediate in the preparation of a wide variety of chemicals. It is used as a raw material to produce thickening agents for food, oil, and mining, in personal care products and detergents, agrochemicals, thermo stabilizers for PVC, adhesives, and pharmaceuticals.

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