By Ingi Salgado
The European Union's competition regulator has slapped a fine of €318,2-million (about R3,7-billion) on the European wax division of petrochemicals producer Sasol for leading a price-fixing cartel dubbed the "paraffin mafia".
The penalty, payable in three months, is nearly 10 times the R381-million operating profit generated in the year to June 2008 by Sasol Wax, the unit that houses the group's Hamburg-based European wax operations.
Sasol said in response yesterday that it was "surprised and does not understand the reasons for the magnitude of this fine".
It would be studying the reasons for the finding with a view to lodging an appeal.