UPDATE 1-Eni faces additional 91 mln euro EU cartel fine

Fri Mar 1, 2013 6:33am EST

* New fine is for repeat offences

* Eni's Versalis unit also named in new EU charges

BRUSSELS, March 1 (Reuters) - Italian oil and gas company Eni faces an additional fine of 90.75 million euros ($118.64 million) for its role in a 2006 synthetic rubber cartel case, EU antitrust regulators said on Friday.

The European Commission penalised Eni and its Versalis unit a total of 272.25 million euros in 2006 for participating in the cartel together with five other companies, including Germany's Bayer, U.S. company Dow and Shell.

The companies won a court challenge in 2011 against an additional sanction for repeat offenders, after Europe's second highest court said the Commission had not explained its reasoning clearly.

The EU competition authority said it had now provided more details on the issue, allowing it to go ahead with the new fine.

It had informed Eni and Versalis, previously known as Polimeri Europa, with a "statement of objections" or charge sheet, that it intends to re-impose an increase in the fine, amounting to 90.75 million euros, because it was a repeat offence.

"The addressees now have the opportunity to reply to the Commission's objections before any amending decision re-imposing the fine uplift is taken," the Commission said in a statement.

Eni can request an oral hearing to defend its case.

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