UPDATE 1-EU fines animal feed cartel 176 mln euros

* Tessenderlo fined 84 million euros

* 14 mln euro fine for FMC, 60 for Timab

* Tessenderlo shares down 0.6 pct

(Adds details, shares)

BRUSSELS, July 20 (BestGrowthStock) – EU antitrust regulators
imposed a 176 million euro ($227.4 million) fine on six
companies for fixing prices of animal feed, with Belgian group
Tessenderlo (TESB.BR: ) owing almost half the penalty.

Tessenderlo was hit with a 84 million euro fine. The company
said it already had a provision of 97 million euros for fines.

U.S. chemicals company FMC (FMC.N: ) was fined 14 million
euros, Spanish firms Ercros S.A and Ercros Industrial S.A.
received a combined fine of 15 million euros and Portugal’s
Quimitecnica and Jose de Mello SGPS S.A. were penalised a
combined 3 million euros.

The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust enforcer, had
cut their orginal fines by 10 percent under the EU’s new
settlement procedure, which rewards firms that admit to fixing
market shares and prices.

France’s Timab opted out of the Commission’s fast-track
settlement procedure and was fined 60 million euros.

Animal feed phosphates are used in feed for cattle, pigs and
fish.

Finnish peer Kemira (KRA1V.HE: ), which has since sold its
animal feed business to Norway’s Yara (YAR.OL: ), received
immunity for cooperating with the regulator.

Other offenders have had their fines further reduced for
varying degrees of cooperation, including a 50 percent cut for
Tessenderlo.
“After the pre-stressing steel case, I am again surprised
that the main producers of a vital compound for animal feed
abused a substantial part of the European animal feed market for
nearly 35 years,” European Competition Commissioner Joaquin
Almunia said in a statement.

The feed case is the second to follow the Commission’s
settlement procedure. In May, nine memory-chip makers, including
Samsung Electronics (005930.KS: ), admitted to taking part in a
cartel and were fined.

Tessenderlo shares were down 0.6 percent by 1508 GMT while
the Stoxx 600 chemicals index (.SX4P: ) was 1.3 percent lower.

Stock Market Today

($1=.7739 Euro)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Timothy Heritage and
Karen Foster)

UPDATE 1-EU fines animal feed cartel 176 mln euros