Final report of the Hearing Officer in Case COMP/38.629 — Chloroprene Rubber (Pursuant to Articles 15 and 16 of Commission Decision 2001/462/EC, ECSC of 23 May 2001 on the terms of reference of Hearing Officers in certain competition proceedings — OJ L 162, 19.6.2001, p. 21 )
OJ C 251, 3.10.2008, p. 10–10 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
BG CS DA DE EL EN ES ET FI FR HU IT LT LV MT NL PL PT RO SK SL SV
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Final report of the Hearing Officer in Case COMP/38.629 — Chloroprene Rubber
(Pursuant to Articles 15 and 16 of Commission Decision 2001/462/EC, ECSC of 23 May 2001 on the terms of reference of Hearing Officers in certain competition proceedings — OJ L 162, 19.6.2001, p. 21)
The draft Decision in the above mentioned case gives rise to the following observations.
The investigation in this case started following an application for immunity under the Commission notice on immunity from fines and reduction of fines in cartel cases (the Leniency Notice)  by Bayer AG on 18 December 2002. On 27 January 2003, the Commission granted Bayer AG conditional immunity pursuant to Article 8(a) of the Leniency Notice.
On 27 March and 9 July 2003, the Commission carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of Dow Deutschland Inc. and Denka Chemicals GmbH, respectively.
Subsequently, the undertakings Tosoh, DuPont Dow Elastomers (DDE), Syndial and Polimeri submitted applications under the Leniency Notice.
On 13 March 2007, the Commission issued a Statement of Objections addressed to 12 legal entities belonging to 6 different groups of undertakings: Bayer AG, DuPont (E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, DuPont Performance Elastomers LLC and DuPont Performance Elastomers SA), Dow Chemical Company, Denka (Denki Kagaku Kogyo KK and Denka Chemicals GmbH, Eni (Eni SpA, Syndial SpA and Polimeri Europa SpA) and Tosoh (Tosoh Corporation and Tosoh Europe BV).
In the Statement of Objections the Commission considered that the addressees had participated in a single and continuous infringement from at least 13 May 1993 to at least 13 May 2002. The cartel arrangement consisted of market and customer allocation, price agreements and exchange of sensitive information.
The addressees of the Statement of Objections were granted access to the file in the form of a DVD. In addition, oral statements and documents submitted to the Commission in the framework of the Leniency Notice were made accessible at the Commission's premises.
The parties were originally granted a deadline of 6 weeks from the receipt of the DVD to reply to the Statement of Objections. Following requests, a general extension, which amounted to around two weeks, was granted to all parties. None of parties turned to me subsequently for any further extensions and all parties replied in due time.
An oral hearing was held on 21 June 2007. All parties to the proceedings were represented at the hearing.
Following the parties written and oral submissions the objections raised against Syndial have been dropped, essentially on the basis that Polimeri, as Syndial's economic successor, is held liable for the latter's participation in the cartel.
In my opinion the draft decision relates only to objections in respect of which the parties have been afforded the opportunity to make known their views.
I consider that the parties' right to be heard has been respected in this case for all participants to the proceedings.
Brussels, 3 December 2007.
 OJ C 45, 19.2.2002, p. 3.