The Fair Trade Commission has fined six Korean petrochemical companies more than W54 bln for fixing the price of synthetic resins over the last 11 years (US$1=W941). Earlier this year, in February, the anti-trust watchdog imposed W100 bln in fines on 10 petrochemical companies for fixing the prices of other products.
As per the FTC, seven petrochemical manufacturers Hanwha Chemical, LG Chem, Samsung General Chemical, Samsung Total, Seetec, SK Energy and Honam Petrochemical Corp., colluded to fix the price of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) through regular meetings between 1994 and 2005. The seven earned some W5.61 trillion in revenue during the period.
The FTC imposed fines of W54.17 billion on six of the companies and referred Hanwha Chemical, Samsung Total and SK Energy to prosecutors. Honam Petrochemical Corp escaped prosecution and fines because it was the first to report the collusion. LG Chem came forward second and escaped prosecution and was slapped with a reduced fine. Samsung General Chemical and Seetec also escaped prosecution since the statute of limitations has expired for their offenses.