Global Processing

EU court upholds $57 million fine against U.S. agricultural company

May 23, 2006

According to the Associated Press, the European Union''s Court of Justice upheld a 43.9 million euro ($56.6 million) EU fine against U.S. agriculture company Archer Daniels Midland Co. for price-fixing on animal feed ingredients in the EU. The Luxembourg-based court dismissed arguments made by ADM that the fine was excessive, saying the EU''s Court of First Instance could have levied an even higher fine, of up to 10 percent of its annual sales. The European Commission fined ADM and four other companies a total of 110 million euros in 2000 for fixing lysine prices. Lysine is a protein used to boost the nutritional content in livestock feed. American antitrust authorities cracked the cartel in the mid-1990s after an ADM executive made secret recordings to prove the companies were colluding. Archer Daniels Midland paid $100 million in U.S. fines after pleading guilty in 1996.