Investigators from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, along with counterparts from Canada, Japan and the European Union made coordinated raids in mid-February on 14 chemical companies around the world that produce stabilisers and other components used to make PVC. The firms are suspected of illegal cartel activities involving price-fixing and market-sharing.

Raided sites were in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Also being investigated were seven chemical firms in Japan. One U.S. chemical company was cooperating with the investigation.