Foam producers fined €114m as EU Competition Commission reaches cartel settlement

By Jaime Jones

On 29 January 2014, the European Commission announced that it had fined four producers of flexible polyurethane foam products a total of €114m (£94m) for their participation in a cartel.

The commission found that Vita, Carpenter, Recticel and Eurofoam operated the cartel for the purposes of co-ordinating the sale prices of polyurethane foam for comfort and technical applications for a five-year period from October 2005 until July 2010, by organising meetings on the margins of European and national associations. The cartelists were also in contact by telephone and other means.

The price co-ordination, which was designed to avoid aggressive price competition and to pass on raw-material price increases of bulk chemicals, affected foam used in products such as upholstered furniture, mattresses and car seats in 10 member states including the UK…

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