Cartel Digest

Calcium Carbide and Magnesium Based Reagents

Calcium Carbide and Magnesium Based Reagents
  Overall Cartel Period 2004-2007
  Participants Akzo Nobel NV / Carbide Sweden AB; Almamet GmbH; Donau Chemie AG; ECKA Granulate GmbH & Co. KG/non ferrum Metallpulver GmbH & Co. KG; Novácke chemické závody a.s./1.garantovaná a.s.; SKW Stahl-Metallurgie Holding AG/ARQUES Industries; SKW Stahl-Metallurgie GmbH; Evonik Degussa GmbH; Holding Slovenske elektrarne d.o.o.
  Total Fines (DOJ) No fines imposed
  Total Fines (EC) €61.1 million

In January 2007, the European Commission (“EC”) launched raids on manufacturers of calcium carbide powder and magnesium granulates, which are essential elements to the steel production process.  The combined sales of these products in the European Economic Area were approximately €175 million.  The EC found that, from April 2004 to January 2007, the manufacturers operated a cartel throughout most of Europe to fix prices and allocate the market and customers.


Enforcement Highlights:

  • The EC imposed fines totaling over €61 million on cartel members.
  • The EC doubled Akzo Nobel’s fines by 100% for previous cartel activity, but ultimately granted the company full immunity because it revealed the existence of the cartel to the Commission.
  • Evonik Degussa’s fine was increased by 50% because it had previously taken part in similar infringements. 
Company Fine Date
Akzo Nobel NV / Carbide Sweden AB Immunity 07/22/2009
Almamet GmbH € 3 million 07/22/2009
Donau Chemie AG € 5 million 07/22/2009
ECKA Granulate GmbH & Co. KG/non ferrum Metallpulver GmbH & Co. KG € 6.4 million 07/22/2009
Novácke chemické závody a.s./1.garantovaná a.s. € 19.6 million 07/22/2009
SKW Stahl-Metallurgie GmbH and SKW Stahl-Metallurgie Holding AG/ARQUES Industries € 13.3 million 07/22/2009
Evonik Degussa GmbH € 4.7 million 07/22/2009
Holding Slovenske elektrarne d.o.o. € 9.1 million 07/22/2009