Six chemical companies have been fined a total of 57.53 million euros (about pounds 34.5 million) by the European Commission for price-fixing and market-sharing in respect of sodium gluconate, a chemical mainly used to clean metal and glass. Brussels said the companies - Archer Daniels Midland of the US, Akzo Nobel and Avebe of the Netherlands, Fujisawa Pharmaceutical of Japan, Jungbunzlauer of Switzerland and Roquette of France - participated in a secret world-wide cartel between 1987 and 1995 when the European market was valued at about ...

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