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Clariant Faces Damages Claim by Shell

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Introduction

The Claim and Clariant’s Response

Clariant, a Swiss chemicals company, disclosed that Shell formally lodged a claim against it and three other companies in the district court of Amsterdam on Wednesday. Shell alleges that it suffered damages amounting to up to 1 billion euros ($1.05 billion) due to infringements sanctioned by the European Commission in 2020. However, Clariant rebutted the claim by stating that Shell was not a supplier of ethylene to them and emphasized that their actions did not affect the market.

Shell’s Perspective

Contrary to Clariant’s position, Shell asserts its role as an ethylene supplier in the European market and states that it has a significant claim against the companies involved in the alleged cartel activities. According to Shell, the European Commission found these companies to be operating a buyer’s cartel, manipulating prices and causing substantial damages to Shell’s business. As a result, Shell has initiated litigation proceedings to recover the damages suffered.

Background on Clariant’s Fine

Clariant, along with two other companies, was fined a total of EUR260 million by the European Commission in July 2020 for engaging in cartel activities related to ethylene purchases on the merchant market. Clariant paid a fine of EUR155.8 million in the same year.

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