Paraffin wax. Not something we think about much, but a vital part of our everyday lives, key to several industries, and a business worth millions of euros a year. We clean with it, light, heal ourselves, drive on it, stick things with it, even chew it, and now the European Commission has hit what it calls a “paraffin mafia” with a hefty near 700 million euro fine.
The cartel was led by Sasol and included Eni, Exxon Mobil, RWE, Repsol, Total, and AngloDutch Shell. The latter escapes a fine for blowing the whistle on the group which fixed the market from 1992 to 2005
In all 10 petrochemical companies were involved. The group was known as “The blue room” after a hotel bar in Germany where the first meetings setting up the illegal enterprise were held.