November 8, 1999

1 Min Read
Vitamin Suit Settled

WASHINGTON--After months of negotiations, the vitamin price-fixing suit has finally been settled. The seven large vitamin makers agreed to pay $1.05 billion to settle the civil suit that alleged they fixed the price of bulk vitamins for human and animal use. All but one of the indicted companies pleaded guilty to the charges.

The seven companies, Roche Holding, Hoechst AG, BASF AG, Rhone-Poulenc SA, Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd., Eisai Co. Ltd. and Daiichi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. sold vitamin mixes to food and feed companies. Rhone-Poulenc cooperated with the government, so it was not charged.

The vitamins in question were A, B2, B5, C, E and Beta carotene. Hoechst also pleaded guilty to fixing the price of sorbates (preservatives used in food production). The companies who purchased the vitamins will receive about 20 percent of the money they paid out, over the course of 10 years, to buy the vitamins.

Previously, the Justice Department collected more than $850 million in fines from the companies. Some of the companies' executives have already been sent to jail.

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