Bayer has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $4.7 million criminal fine for participating in a conspiracy to fix the prices of synthetic rubber which is used to manufacture a variety of products including automotive parts.
The rubber, acrylonitrile-butadiene, which is also known as NBR, is also used to manufacture hoses, belting, cable, o-rings, seals, adhesives, and sealants.
According to the one-count felony charge filed in the US District Court in San Francisco, Bayer AG conspired from May, 2002 through December, 2002 with unnamed co-conspirators to suppress and eliminate competition for NBR in the United States and elsewhere.
The Department charged that Bayer AG and unnamed co-conspirators carried out the conspiracy by participating in conversations and meetings to discuss prices of NBR, agreeing, during those conversations and meetings, to raise and maintain prices of NBR, and issuing price announcements and price quotations in accordance with the agreements reached.
Earlier in the month, the Pittsburgh subsidiary of the company agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $33 million criminal fine for participating in a conspiracy to fix the price of polyester polyol.